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February 18, 2019

Balochistan: a promising future ahead

Lahore

February 18, 2019

The area that encompasses Balochistan is geographically, politically and economically significant. It is located in a region that has seen political and military power projection by the West and former Soviet Union, especially in the last four decades. It is central to the whereabouts of China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which provides immense opportunities to Central Asian Republics to expand trade with Pakistan and also go through China for trade expansion. In the context of geo-strategic situation in the region, CPEC offers an alternative solution to link up Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, which directly border China, as well as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, to the route, thus ruling out reliance on the traditional perception that all roads from Pakistan into the Central Asia go through Kabul or Wakhan Strip. Almost all CARs have shown interest in joining the CPEC.

For the past some years, Indian military and intelligence services are infiltrating specially-trained and psychologically-motivated terrorists to inflict losses on Pakistan’s polity, economic infrastructure and create divisions in the society by exploiting religious weaknesses and ethnic fissures. The Indian footprints in Balochistan have been confirmed by the Pakistani state at the international level. While grievances of the Baloch were genuine and needed to be tackled politically, vested interests and foreign elements exploited the local people in the name of an independent Balochistan. But the slogan of an independent Balochistan is a pipe dream that would never materialize.

The majority of Baloch have justifiably concluded that their destiny lies with the rule of law and continuation of the democratic order in the country. Therefore, terrorist activities in the troubled districts of Balochistan have measurably diminished. On February 7, 2019, the Pakistan chapter of “Overseas Pakistani Baloch Unity” (OPBU), now named as “Pakistan Baloch Unity” (PBU), was established at Kohlu. A huge gathering was held in the city on the launching ceremony of “Pakistan Baloch Unity”. Dr Jumma Khan Marri addressed the gathering from Moscow. He thanked the people of Pakistan, especially his supporters and vice chairman Mir Khuda Bux Marri in Kohlu for arranging such a large gathering. He said that projects like Gwadar port and CPEC will change the fate of Balochistan. All those who are opposing these projects are not only enemies of Pakistan but also the enemies of people of Balochistan. He requested all misled Baloch to lay down their weapons and start contributing to these ongoing projects for betterment of Balochistan. He said enemies are opposing development projects in Balochistan for their own geopolitical reasons and are using the Baloch, who are the ones who are facing the brunt of terrorism. Mostly, both the attackers and the victims are common Baloch people. He made it clear that the road to an independent Balochistan is a road that doesn’t exist.

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