The Department of Natural Resources of Sindh Government has complained in its report that Sindh Government has not been informed about the details and the quantum of natural resources in province by the Center. The report by the department said that (apart from Coal, Gold, Uranium, Oil and Gas) Sindh is rich in Copper, Granite, Marble and China Clay. Read News Version Published in Daily Kawish
ISLAMABAD: On first day of its first visit to Pakistan, Arab National Construction (ANC) Holdings of Dubai was able to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government to set up two coal-based power projects at Gadani, a jetty for coal import and a transmission line to add 1,320 megawatts of electricity to national grid at an investment of $2.5 billion.
By: Ayaz Latif Palijo
Sindh has 6th largest Coal reserves in the world. Sindh contributes 71.6% of total Gas reserves of Pakistan. Sindh contributes 58.5% of total Petrol reserves of Pakistan. Sindh contributes 71% of total revenue of Pakistan. Sindh has 2 international standard ports of Pakistan.
55% of population in Sindh lives below the poverty line. Sindh gets just 24.55% from the divisible pool. More than 30% people of Rural Sindh are unemployed. More than 68% of the girls in Sindh can not join schools. Sindh has worst roads, hospitals & schools in the entire South Asia.
Via – Facebook
Veteran politician fears Kalabagh dam project being revived
HYDERABAD, Oct 23: Awami Tehreek (AT) chairman Rasool Bux Palijo has claimed that the Thar coal project was being delayed to pave the way for the Kalabagh dam.
Speaking to reporters at the Palijo House in Qasimabad on Tuesday, he said that a petition had recently been filed in the Lahore High Court to seek the go-ahead for the Kalabagh dam project but the PPP government, which had been opposing it for years, was taking no notice of the move.
“The Kalabagh dam plan is a matter of life and death for Sindh,” he reminded the PPP, and told the media that under a conspiracy water downstream Kotri barrage was to be stopped and this would render Sindh’s agricultural lands barren forcing the affected landowners to dispose of their lands at cheap rates.
“This [Kalabagh] is the plan is for the destruction of Sindh,” he remarked, and said that millions of Sindhi people would oppose it tooth and nail.
Quoting the Lahore High Court observation that the government was not serious about building the dam, Mr Palijo apprehended that the court was going to give its verdict in favour of the petitioner.
“The PPP is very likely to continue with its lip service to the issue,” the veteran politician predicted. He spoke about the strong resistance to the project put up by the PPP when it was led by Benazir Bhutto, and said that the PPP along with the Awami Tehreek had staged a historical sit-in at Kammo Shaheed in Aug 1998 and declared that it would never allow construction of any dam on the Indus.
SINDH – Karachi: Sindh’s Minister for Finance, Murad Ali Shah, informed the Provincial Assembly of Sindh on Monday that the federal government was tending to unilaterally reduce Sindh’s share in the Gas Development Surcharge (GDS) and had fixed a formula for GDS distribution without consulting the province.
“The Chief Minister of Sindh and the finance department have written, cumulatively, around 20-25 letters to the federal government asking for transparency in the GDS matter,” he said, and added that in the year 2008-09, the federal government had reduced Sindh’s share in the GDS to Rs11, 328 million. “The federal government has not consulted the Sindh government while finalizing estimates for the GDS,” said the finance minister. He observed that Sindh had only started getting GDS since 1991. …
Read more » The News
– Pakistan: 11 Soldiers Killed In Battle With Baluch Militants
QUETTA, Pakistan — Pakistani officials say militants in the southwestern Baluchistan Province have killed 11 soldiers in an attack.
A senior official in Pakistan’s military said two Frontier Corps posts near coal mines came under attack in the Margut area about 60 kilometers east of Quetta.
RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal’s correspondent in Quetta reports that an ethnic Baluch separatist group called the Baluch Liberation Army claimed responsibility.
That group is comprised of members of the Bugti and Marri clans in the area to the east of Quetta.
They have been fighting since 2004 for political autonomy and a greater share of profits from Baluchistan’s oil, gas, and mineral resources.
More than 30 members of Pakistan’s Frontier Corps have been killed in Baluchistan Province during the past three weeks in clashes with Baluch rebels.
– Mining Company Abandons $19 Billion Pact; Move Is Setback to Islamabad’s Effort to Establish Beijing as Foil to U.S.
By TOM WRIGHT in New Delhi and JEREMY PAGE in Beijing
A Chinese mining company pulled out of what was to be Pakistan’s largest foreign-investment deal because of security concerns, complicating Islamabad’s effort to position its giant neighbor as an alternative to the U.S. as its main ally.
An official at China Kingho Group, one of China’s largest private coal miners, said on Thursday it had backed out in August from a $19 billion deal in southern Sindh province because of concerns for its personnel after recent bombings in Pakistan’s major cities. …
Read more » The Wall Street Journal
– Pakistan burns prisoners alive
Despite the election of a democratic government in Islamabad, Pakistan continues to abuse human rights in Balochistan
by Peter Tatchell
Four Baloch prisoners have been burned alive in hot coal tar by the Pakistan army during military operations in annexed and occupied Balochistan, according to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).
Last week the AHRC received confirmation that Pakistani soldiers arrested four people on April 5 2008, in the Dera Bugti district of Balochistan, and subjected them to torture. They were asked to identify local supporters of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). After failing to get any names from them, the victims were immersed in scolding hot coal tar. Three of the men were literally boiled and burned to death. A fourth died later from his injuries.
Villagers in the area also claim the Pakistan army used a form of chemical gas against them and that some of the gassed survivors were later shot. Their bodies have not been handed over to relatives for burial.
These and many other crimes against humanity are still happening in Balochistan, despite the resignation of the dictator President, Pervez Musharraf, and despite Pakistan’s ostensible transition to democratic government.
During July and August, over 100 Baloch persons were killed, 250 disappeared and more than 20,000 were displaced. They are victims of intensified military operations by the Pakistan army, which has occupied Balochistan since invading in 1948 and forcibly incorporating it into Pakistan.
Cobra attack helicopters that were provided (pdf) by the US to help defeat the Taliban and al-Qaida are instead being used to crush the Baloch people. ….
Read more → guardian.co.uk
HEC’s devolution to provinces opposed
by Khalid Hashmani, McLean
In my opinion, the recent decision by the Pakistani Government to devolve HEC into provincial HECs is overdue and must be carried out. As a matter of fact, I recommend to Dr. Javaid Laghari to not only support this decision but also help to ensure that it is implemented fully and that he should assume the role of Sindh HEC and make it one the best educational institutions in Pakistan and in the world as he did with ZABIST.
I do not know of any federal-level powerful higher education authorities in any federal state in the world as we have in Pakistan. Using the name of Islam and Pakistan, the establishment of Pakistan has been imposing unnecessary and inefficient centralization on the provinces/ States/ Republics. The tool of “centralization” has been used to discriminate and exploit smaller provinces and usurp resources of Sindh and Balochistan for the benefit of other provinces. Neither Canada has a federal HEC nor USA and other democratic and federal countries have created such institutions. In other countries where a federal-level commissions exist, their role is very limited and constrained to advise on standards.
The reason that Sindh’s Education Ministry is inefficient has no relevance whether or not Pakistan’s HEC should be devolved. The federal Education Ministry and HEC both have history of discrimination against Sindhis and denying due share in educational opportunities in Pakistan. The same rational of inefficiency is given for centralized control of Sindh’s resource industries such as coal, oil, gas, and ports.
The fact that few Vice Chancellors and educationalists from Sindh do not support devolution of HEC is the same as some pro one-unit establishment organs gave when the people of Sindh, Balochistan, and Pakhtunkhwa demanded dissolution of one unit. Such pronouncement did not succeed then and they will not stop devolution of HEC and other federal agencies and departments returning them into their provincial jurisdictions.
As a highly super centralized state, Pakistan is increasingly failing and is now considered one of worse countries on most human development factors. It is time that it’s setup is reorganized on the basis of the 1940 Resolutions, which is the fundamental principle for various provinces/ States/ Republics to join Pakistan.
Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, March 27, 2011.
By Dr Ali AKbar Dhakan, Karachi, Sindh
The importance of coal has been tremendously realized in the present times of scant resources of energy throughout our country. The quality of coal found in Sindh is one of the best, and sindh is endowed with enormous potential of coal resources.Unfortunately, the coal has not been fully explored and exploited to meet energy requirements with the result that the Country is facing shortage of energy supplies.When Sindh is endowed with huge good quality lignite coal deposits suitable for electric power generation and other applications.It constitutes around 98% of total coal deposits of the country. Historically, coal has been used as a major source of energy since centuries.The industrial revolution and enhanced use of electricity was also due to coal.
– Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia
A news item under title “Only Sindhis have rights over Thar Coal” in Sindhi interestingly is published in web magazine “WICHAAR”. This magazine, although focused on the promotion of Punjabi and culture, has been remarkable in promoting Sindhi language and bringing Sindhi and Punjabi communities closer to each other. THe news item describes a recent demonstration in Hyderabad Sindh in which demonstrations strongly criticized federal government’s action to take over the management of huge coal deposits in Thar area of Sindh. The demonstrations also demanded that ownership of all natural resources found in Sindh including oil, gas, and coal belong to the people of Sindh.
The full article can be accessed at following link:
By: Khalid Hashmani, USA
About the author: Khalid Hashmani is a veteran human rights activist in Washington DC. He is the founding President of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) and Chief coordinator of Sindhi Excellence Team (SET) that participates in advocacy activities on behalf of rural Sindhis. He can be reached at email@example.com
Rich with Oil and Gas but most backward area in Asia, the province of Sindh is the largest producer of oil and gas in Pakistan and yet it suffers one of the worst poverty levels in Asia. It produces 71 per cent of gas and 61 per cent of oil production in Pakistan. The daily production of oil and gas in Sindh is about 67,140 barrels and 3.99 billion cubic feet respectively. Yet most reports by organizations such as the World Bank call the rural areas of Sindh as most under-developed and deprived. A New York Times book review of a titled “A New Deal in Pakistan” by William Dalrymple (http://www.nybooks. com/articles/ 21194) says the following about Sindh:
“.. in fact, it is one of the most backward areas in all of Asia. Whatever index of development you choose to dwell on-literacy, health care provision, daily income, or numbers living below the poverty line-rural Sindh comes bumping along close to the bottom”.
Over-Centralization in Pakistan denies provincial rights
The plight of Sindh is due to over-centralization and exploitative policies of the central Pakistani government. The central government of Pakistan has usurped all revenue and income resources of the country including almost all forms of taxes and income earned from natural resources such as oil, gas, and coal.
The article of New York Times pertains to extremely important development that could impact how Sindh survives economically, politically and culturally in next 100 years. Any thoughtless support or irrational opposition to the upcoming actions of the federal or provincial governments could be harmful to the interests of Sindh. In the immediate future, educated Sindhis should get prepared to collect data, analyze data, and take well thought-out and rational actions to safeguard long-term interests of Sindh. The news about the sale of substantial interests in the Qadirpur Gas field in Sindh and other assets of Sindh (the second largest Gas field Pakistan) has been in industry publications for couple of weeks. The following provides links and brief extracts from those news items:
By Aziz Narejo
Contrary to Sindh government’s statements in the press that it is opposed to the establishment of Thar Coal Authority, it has actually become an accomplice to the take over of Thar coal, a precious Sindh resource, by the federal government. It has surpassed the duly established Sindh Coal Authority through an act of Sindh Assembly and has established Thar Coal & Energy Board giving away more powers to the federal government than even the Thar Coal Authority had.
This is unacceptable and all should raise voice against this robbery of an invaluable Sindh resources. ..
Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups.
By Khalid Hashmani
WE condemn the illegal action of the current government to transfer the control of coal resources from the Sindh government to the federal government. This action is undemocratic, anti-people and violation of the principle of provincial autonomy. I demand that the government immediately cancel the announcement and announce a new provincial coal authority with majority representation of Sindhis including a representative from the local area and only one representative from the federal government.
I am drafting an online petition to press on the demand for a new Coal Authority that will be circulated soon. I hope that every Sindhi and other patriotic Pakistani will sign it.
Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups.
ISLAMABAD, PAK: The dispute between the Pakistan People’s Party-led governments in Sindh and at the centre has resurfaced once again over the constitutional ownership of the 5th largest coal reserves in the world. In a recent communique with the central government, the Sindh government has raised serious objections on the announcement made by the federal water and power minister to hold an international conference on coal energy in Islamabad during the month of June to attract foreign investment. Sources terming it a first conventional dispute between provincial and federal governments run by PPP on the ownership of natural resources.