Balochistan needs to harness its own resources
new government presented its first budget for the next fiscal year focusing particularly on investment, infrastructure, communication, water and energy and security situation. Another pivotal feature of the document is the creation of over three thousand jobs in the government departments for the youth. In view of its backwardness, we welcome the measures announced in the budget, hoping that these will at least address some of the basic problems faced by the Province.
Nevertheless, the important and surprising factor of the budget is that out of the total outlay of Rs 289 billion rupees, the Province will only contribute Rs 9 billion while the remaining entire amount will be provided by the Federal government. This rebuts the criticism of the Senators and MNAs belonging to the Province who miss no opportunity both within and outside the Parliament, criticizing the Federation for ‘meting out step-motherly attitude’ towards Balochistan. Undoubtedly, the Province is rich in natural and mineral resources and it can enhance its revenues multi-fold provided efforts are geared up towards the exploitation of those precious resources, which so far have not been put in use due to security reasons as well as other impediments. One of the main reasons that the Province is lagging behind in development is the menace of corruption that is permeating in different departments there. Recovery of a treasure of local and foreign currency and a sizeable quantity of gold from the residence of Provincial Finance Secretary Mushtaq Raisani is enough a proof to substantiate our observation. Anyway being the linchpin of CPEC project, Balochistan will get the most from this mega project, which will indeed open up new avenues of opportunities and generate immense economic activities in the so far backward Province. No doubt, implementation of CPEC and full operationalization of Gwadar Port will give a quantum jump to the revenues of Balochistan, yet we believe that both Federal and Provincial Govts will have to give a serious thought to exploit Balochistan’s so far undiscovered resources including gold, copper, gas and oil. Doing so will change destiny not only of entire Province but the whole country.
AN observer once said that if you dig deep into Middle East politics, you will find oil. He probably meant it as a pun, but it is true that much that has happened in the Middle East in recent times is, in one way or the other, related to oil politics. The leading Western countries (USA, Britain and France) sought to dominate the Middle East politically, since early in the 20th century, with a view to exploit its immense oil resources. Britain dominated Iran to control its oil till the 1950s. When the nationalist government of Dr. Mosaddegh sought to nationalise the oil industry, he was overthrown in a CIA/ British intelligence coup in 1953. The Shah of Iran thereafter worked hand-in-hand with the USA and received full American backing till the Islamic Revolution in 1979. In the case of Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf countries, oil was the main pivot on which the US and Europe developed their relations. The US support for Israel has also been, in part, related to safeguarding its oil interests in the Middle East.
Oil was first discovered in USA in 1859. The first find in the Middle East was in 1908 at Masjed Soleiman in Iran. The economic uses of oil became apparent with the growth of the automobile industry, but its military uses came to the fore in the First World War. Ever since, oil is regarded as a crucial resource
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