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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.