In the face of total indifference from the federal government, Balochistan is currently presenting a picture of complete administrative chaos where senior DMG and PSP officers are not prepared to work and the BCS does not have the capacity to handle the adverse situation.
The utter apathy of the federal government towards the Balochistan problem leads one to conclude that it is Islamabad, and not the Baloch, which is responsible for the secessionist tendency in the province. Islamabad has steadily been turning a deaf ear to the continuous demands for political and administrative hierarchy in the posting of senior officers of the federation which has become the worst example of mal-governance.
Islamabad appears to be least pushed about the gravity of the problem as no worthwhile effort — be it administrative or political — is being made to resolve the issue. This indifference on the part of federation has only compounded the problem.
The problem of Balochistan is multi-dimensional. Bad governance, a lack of adequate resources, political exclusion and atrocities committed by law-enforcement agencies have all contributed to this sorry state of affairs.
Corruption and incompetence reign supreme in the province. Despite repeated demands, the federal government had not posted any senior PSP officer to fill the vacant post left by the IGP in the last 20 days. Alarmingly in a province that is simultaneously facing a separatist movement and sectarian killings does not have a regular IGP. For that matter, most of the districts do not have district magistrates and DPOs either.
There are only 11 DMG officers working in the province that accounts for 44 percent of the country’s total size, as opposed to more than 350 DMG officers in Punjab. All the commissioners are from provincial service; only two out of 26 DCs are from the DMG. There is neither a secretary nor commissioner from the DMG posted in Balochistan. It is further alleged that most of the 11 posted DMG officers are ineffective as they were sent to the province for punishment and not for the sake of implementing good governance.
The officers of the Balochistan Civil Service (BCS) neither possess the capacity nor have the drive to ensure good governance in the province, in part because they have not been provided with opportunities of capacity-building and skill development. The morale of the district administration has touched its lowest ebb. There are deputy commissioners who remain absent for days from their offices. Local police neither have the training nor the capacity to cope with terrorists, and unfortunately they do not have any worthy officers to guide them under such a grim scenario. The federal government — after repeated requests from the chief secretary — posted only four PSP officers. Out of these four, one is afflicted by paralysis and is not in a position to perform his duties. The remaining three only have traffic experience and are not capable of handling law and order. No DMG officer was posted at all. This lack of interest on the part of the federal government simply reinforces the perception that Islamabad is perhaps not interested to retain Balochistan in the federation of Pakistan.
In light of such an adverse situation, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has issued a warning to the federal government reminding it that, under Article 148 of the Constitution, it is bound to assist Balochistan.
The degree of mal-administration can be further judged from the fact that despite a lapse of four years, the provincial assembly has not yet constituted the public accounts committee. The Auditor General of Pakistan is reported to have observed that in the absence of a public accounts committee, he does not find any justification for conducting the audit of the provincial departments. A lack of oversight over public spending has given carte blanche to the unscrupulous elements in the province who are gulping the public resource with impunity.
Balochistan Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob has been trying hard to flog the dead horse that is the administration to get it to perform. He made it a point that the commissioners and DCs remain available in their respective divisions and districts and address the public’s grievances. According to reports, he also directed the DCs to take legal action in the case of missing persons in their respective districts. Moreover, he himself began patrolling along with the IG to ensure that the junior officers followed their example. He requested the federal government post a required number of DMG and PSP officers.
When contacted, the Balochistan chief secretary claimed that immediately after his posting a month back, he realised that he did not have the proper human resource to improve the administrative chaos. He stated that he himself met with political and administrative hierarchy in Islamabad and requested for the posting of at least 25 senior PSP and DMG officers to assist him. He claimed that he did not have a single DMG secretary and nobody in the existing slots had any experience of serving in other provinces or the federal government. Similarly, all commissioners were from the BSC but he needed the best human resources to improve the governance. Nevertheless, once the issue is taken up by the SC, he is hopeful that the federal government will post 25 DMG and PSP officers to Balochistan.