The fake domicile racket has been going on systematically and wilfully to deprive the Baloch people of progress on the economic ladder
In July, a debate raged on among those eyeing benefits from the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and all expressed support for this or that route in utter disregard for what the Baloch people thought of this scheme of ‘development’. Dr Malik’s Policy Reform Unit, headed by economist Kaiser Bengali, came up with a report on June 25 titled, ‘China Pakistan Economic Corridor: The Route Controversy’.
The report stated that by preferring a route that passes through Punjab and Sindh rather than Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, the federal government was failing to take into account the needs and desires of all federating units of the country and was trading off today’s security risks against provincial discord and political instability in the future. This report unequivocally opposed Islamabad’s stance on the route. Ironically, less than three days after this scathing report on the government’s plans for the CPEC, Balochistan’s Dr Abdul Malik and company pusillanimously backtracked on their stance and welcomed Chinese investment in Balochistan through the CPEC. This remarkably fast volte face on their part — though they had said that the federal government’s focus on eastern alignment would rob Balochistan of the chance to develop its own infrastructure — left observers scratching their heads at the reason behind this retreat and abject surrender of the so-called middle class, nationalist champions of Balochistan.
It reminded me of a tale about a king who, with a lone loyal courtier, chasing a deer on a hunt got separated from the main party and eventually ended up at a peasant’s household. They sat there hoping the main party with all the paraphernalia would come but it did not turn up and the king felt hungry so they asked the peasant to prepare food. The peasant said he had nothing but some brinjals (aubergines) that were then prepared. Once the food was served, the hungry king relished the taste of the brinjals and praised them; the courtier too praised their so many wonderful medicinal and health giving qualities, praising them to heavens. After a while, the king’s stomach, unused to simple food, grumbled and growled so he started saying that the brinjals were bad food and he should not have eaten them. The courtier said the brinjals were the worst of the vegetables created by God, all their plants in the kingdom should be destroyed and its eating be banned. This tirade against the brinjal after all the eulogies and paeans in favour of the same amused the king and he commented that the courtier had been praising them no end a while back but was now maligning them viciously. The courtier did not miss a beat and said, “Sire, I am your servant and not of the brinjals; if you like them I praise them, if not I will denigrate them.”
Dr Malik and Kaiser Bengali are so very similar to that brinjal incident courtier. Their loyalty is to Rawalpindi and Islamabad; they are not the brinjal’s servant and will do whatever pleases their military and political mentors. They have nothing to do with the people or their rights and powers. They simply serve their masters or their own interests. This is not surprising.
Dr Malik was installed by his mentors in June 2013. Two years on he realised that fake domiciles rob the Baloch people of the jobs they seek. He told the Senate standing committee on inter-provincial coordination that lots of people were getting jobs in various federal departments and corporations on the Balochistan quota on the basis of fake domicile certificates. One wonders what he had been doing all this time. This fake domicile racket has been going on systematically and wilfully with their connivance and consent to deprive the Baloch people of progress on the economic ladder.
He also complained about Saindak and said: “We have no idea how much gold and other minerals are being dug out by the Chinese company from the Saindak project.” I will tell him that Saindak Metal Limited in May 2009 said that 7.746 tonnes of gold, 86,013 tonnes of copper, 11.046 tonnes of silver and 14,482 tonnes of magnetite concentrate (iron) worth $ 633.573 million were produced during 2004-08. How much more since then he should try to find out. The unmonitored overmining by the Chinese there means there will be no copper or gold in Saindak after 2017. Toxic waste will abound as for every 28 grams of gold, 79 tonnes of waste is produced.
If he, as the alleged chief executive of Balochistan, has no idea what the Chinese do in Saindak, then what will they know about what the Chinese do in Gwadar now that they are getting a 40-year lease to develop a massive special economic zone there? Under this contract, 923 hectares (2,300 acres) of tax-exempt land will be assigned to the China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC). Additionally, a special security force of between 10,000 and 25,000 men will be raised to protect the Chinese.
Apart from the physical war, a demographic war is also being waged against the Baloch and certainly not without the connivance of Dr Malik’s government. Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini told the Senate’s standing committee on interior that the government had secretly brought radical demographic changes to various districts of Balochistan, converting the majority into a minority there. The government’s latest statistics report revealed that Balochistan had witnessed the highest population increase of approximately 250 percent among all the provinces. Certainly the increase is not of the Baloch population as they are being decimated by the prolonged brutal abduct, kill and dump policy combined with sustained military operations.
Use of actual brutal force and threatening language by the military and political mentors of Dr Malik is aimed at weakening the Baloch’s resolve for their rights. Those who think they can act like God and deter the Baloch people would do well to remember this Habib Jalib verse read by him at a mushaira while pointing towards the picture of Yahya Khan.
“Tum say pehlay woh jo ek shakhs yahan takht nasheen tha
Usko bhi apna khuda honay ka itna hi yaqeen tha”
(The ruler here before you too believed earnestly
Like you, that he too was a god equally ardently).