by: Khalid Hashmani, McLean
August 12, 2009: The reason is simple! The natives of the provinces, where these resources are located, are denied their due share of benefits in Pakistan. Much of this wealth is enjoyed by people who either live in other provinces or people associated with powerful and high-maintenance organizations such as military. This leaves very little for common men and women, particularly those who live in rural areas.
The insurgency and the desire for separation/ independence in Baluchistan is substantially motivated by the denial of their due share from the resources to local Baloch. The frustration of Sindhis is largely motivated by the fact that Sindhis do not get their due share in jobs and benefits in the private and public sectors that are located and use natural resources of Sindh. The spread of fundamentalism an extremism in Pakhtunwa is due to the extreme poverty and the fact that the establishment does not even allow them to call their province by a name that they like and insists on calling them border region located in North Western part of Pakistan.
With the non-productive defense and related sector consuming a large part of the country’s meager resources, very little is left for education, health, economic uplift, and social assistance of common people. Based on the UN statistics, Pakistan spends one of lowest percentage on education, health, and social welfare. How do you expect the state to prosper under such inequities?
Sure! many changes are possible if Pakistan is allowed to return to its founding principles – sovereignty and autonomy of provinces as enshrined in the vision of Pakistan (1940 Resolution). Pakistan needs to decide they will reduce their defense expenditure and have a security force that fits well with the economy, state of poverty, and size of the country.
I hope all Pakistanis can see through this simple logic and recognize the reasons for the misery of their country. Indeed, the more time we take to reach this collective realization, the father we get from salvaging what ever we have!