How a Punjabi can feel over Bugti’s Assassination……!!!!
(Written on September 01, 2006)
Mr. Bugti has died in an encounter, so shall be remembered for his bravery and commitment to his cause. Though his cause had little to do with the welfare of his people and more to do with his personal prestige and powerful position, yet his death has been resulted in generating more sympathies for the cause of Baloch people.
It is necessary that we must investigate the cause of Economic and educational backwardness of Baloch people. These are my feelings as being a Punjabi. On the other hand, Mr. Irshad Ahmed Haqqani, in his column, has copied a letter of a Punjabi who is resident of Balochistan. Punjabi people are the victim of target killing and Robbery in Balochistan province. There is general environment of hatred for Punjabis among the Baloch people, or at least among the ‘nationalist’ Balochis. The slogan of Balochi ‘nationalists’ is: “Balochistan – the graveyard of Punjabis”. It is important to mention that if Baloch people are poor or backward, then so is the case with those Punjabi victims of target killing … because mostly they also happened to be poor labour class people. So they are becoming victim of a blind form of hatred. It is also important to mention that Punjabis do not hate Balochis or any other in this type of manner or any other manner whatsoever.
Rights of Balochistan have to do with the affairs of federal government and not with the people of Punjab. But indirect role of Punjab does come because of such reasons as: (i) More representation of Punjabis in federal government, (ii) Economic prosperity of common Punjabi as compared to common Balochi. etc.
Federal government allocates resources to different provinces on the basis of population data alone. As being a Punjabi, in my honest assessment, this is a wrong policy. Balochistan is the largest province of country in terms of its area but smallest in terms of population. While allocating the resources to this province, federal government takes decision solely on the basis of population data and simply ignores the implications of vast land area of this province. The simple implication of such vast land area is that it gives the result of very high per capita infrastructure cost. With the view to provide the facility of lets say, a road to less number of people, a long road of many hundred kilometers would be required. So the per capita infrastructure cost has to be very much high in this province as compared to lets say Punjab where far more number of people get the benefit of relatively very short road. So first of all in my opinion, resources should be allocated not just on the basis of population data but should be allocated on the basis of per capita infrastructure cost. Representation of Baloch people also should be increased in federal government due to similar reasons.
Punjabis are generally well off because they have been gifted by nature with five big rivers and fertile agriculture land. Punjabi people are lucky in the sense that they can exercise their proprietary rights over the fertile lands of the province. It means that Punjabi people are lucky because they can exercise proprietary rights over the naturally occurring natural resources of their province.
Balochi people have been unlucky because they have been deprived off to exercise their proprietary rights over the natural resources (natural gas) of their province. Bugti’s assassination has diverted our attention (Punjabi’s attention) towards this form of injustice as well. Balochistan is poor in water resources and fertility of land but it is rich in other form of natural resources as natural gas. If Punjab has the right to take full benefit of its natural resources, then Balochistan also should have full right to take benefits of its natural resources. But just like Punjabi people take the benefit of their natural resources, so it should be the Baloch people who should take the benefit of their natural resources and this benefit should not go in the pockets of their Sardars.
It is also important to mention that Punjabis do not act as parasite for Baloch people in any sense. They make payment for the gas, which they use. This payment however should go to provincial government of Balochistan for the benefit of Baloch people, and should not go to federal government or even the personal treasures of Baloch Sardars. Federal government should take just her taxation out of this income and nothing more.
It is also necessary that constitutional set up should be like a federation with the greatest possible autonomy to Provinces. There should not be any form of injustice by any province towards any other. People of one province should not hate with people of other province on just baseless things like that since Punjabis take ‘electricity’ out of waters of rivers so the water which reaches to next province would lack some important ingredient which is crucial for agriculture etc. etc. If people of other provinces hate with Punjabis on the basis of this type of reasons, then they are also committing injustice towards Punjabis.