KARACHI: Former advisor to Balochistan chief minister Dr Kaiser Bengali said on Tuesday that a comprehensive development package worth Rs7 trillion by the federal government should be announced for Balochistan for the next 20 years with amendments in the existing electoral system to end injustices meted to the province for the last 70 years
He expressed these views at the launching ceremony of his book “A Cry for Justice: Empirical Insights from Balochistan” organized by Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) at Arts Council of Pakistan in Karachi.
Dr Bengali said a large scale assets transfer has been happening rapidly from Balochistan to other parts of the country especially in Sui gas. Karachi and Lahore were developed from the gas of Balochistan, but the province did not receive gas till 1984, he said.
He dispelled the notion that Sardars are the impediments in development saying that only less than one-third of Balochistan is under Sardari system, adding that it is incorrect to say that the majority of Balochistan’s population comes from the middle class who want development in the province. It is a propaganda of Islamabad to hold control of Balochistan, he remarked.
“There was no role of provincial assembly in the change of chief minister, the decision was made somewhere else,” he added.
Even there is a lot of interference in the electoral process, he said adding that Dr. Malik had quoted that General Pervaiz Musharraf had asked him to support a lady candidate, but he refused. Next day he was arrested.
He said National Highway Authority (NHA) is working in a colonial style, and it has neglected both Balochistan and Sindh in its projects. Giving statistics, Dr Bengali said that there has been a historical neglect indicated by an absence of road communications in the 347,000 sq. km province till the ‘discovery’ of Gwadar.
Till 2004, the residents of Gwadar and coastal towns were traveling to Karachi via a dirt track, and the trip required 2-3 days to cover, compared to 7 hours currently, with passengers required to spend nights in the open.
Talking about the Balochs’ representation in the bureaucracy, he said that none of the chief secretaries ever appointed in the province belonged to Balochistan.