The provinces of any country are analogous to parts of a machine. For a machine to run smoothly all of its parts should be perfect, the same can be said about the provinces of Pakistan. Baluchistan is a very important part of the machinery of Pakistan and it deserves the same level of attention that the other provinces receive because it has an important part to play in the performance of the country.
Baluchistan, despite of being rich in resources, is not very developed. The lack of socio-economic development is because of the neglect and failure of the provincial governments of the past days and the resistance of the feudal lords to any sort of development that might cause them to lose their power and influence in the region.
Do you know: Baluchistan comprises of about 44% of Pakistan’s land mass. (Source: Wikipedia)
The pace of developing a sound infrastructure has been very slow in Baluchistan since the colonial era. After Pakistan came into being, special attention was given to this region from 1960s to early 1970s. Projects were discussed in the five-year development plans but these plans failed to become a reality because of non-existence of infrastructure and weak institutions.
The importance of a strong and stable Baluchistan for a good Pakistani economy is becoming clearer as the geopolitical importance of the region is now being recognized. This realization has forced the present government to pay special attention to the development of the province and provide it with a better infrastructure and to improve the law and order situation.
There are several projects in this province which can boost the economy of Pakistan. One of them is the Gwadar port. This port is one of the most important projects as it would be the center of energy and trade from and to China and the central Asian countries, once constructed and functional.
Gwadar port is situated on the entrance of a very important strait, Strait of Hormuz. This can provide endless economic opportunities for the country, since it is the shortest access for Afghanistan to the Indian Ocean. China is investing heavily and helping Pakistan to build the Gwadar port because it allows them to have access to the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean is one of the world’s busiest interstate and it is also the most important because 50 % of all the container traffic and 70 % of the fuel goes through these waters. Gwadar port is also very important to counter the dominance of India in the waters as they are investing in the Chahbahar port in Iran. Also, China has signed to invest $46 billion dollars in order to develop a Pakistan-China Economic corridor.
Baluchistan is also rich in natural resources and it is important to develop plans and infrastructure which can help in utilizing the resources for the betterment of the region. In the Chagai District, one of the largest copper deposits in the world have been found at a place known as Reko Diq. The economy of the province is based on it’s resources of natural gas, coal and several other minerals.
It is also gifted with natural beauty. If the law and order situation is kept under control, tourism industry can really flourish in this region. There are breathtakingly beautiful places like Ziarat, Punnu Fort, Astole, Pishin, Gwadar and Mehrgarh which can attract tourists from all over the world.
The recent developments and investments show that Pakistan is realizing the importance of a stable and well developed Baluchistan for a good economy but there is still much that needs to be done for the development of the region and to give people a better and improved lifestyle.
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