What would you expect in a place that is endowed with $1 trillion worth minerals, precious metals and natural gas? Peace, Prosperity and Affluence? Well, if the region is Balochistan, all you can see is brazen loot of natural resources, murder of Baloch men and rape of Baloch women. Why? Because Pakistan invaded and occupied Balochistan in 1948 and since then it has continued to loot the region’s natural resources and commit worst forms of human rights abuses. And this brazen plunder of minerals, murders, rapes and abductions across Balochistan takes place under direct orders from Pakistan’s deep state.
Gold, copper, black pearl, precious stones, chromite and natural gas are abundantly available in Balochistan. The total mineral and oil wealth of Balochistan has been estimated at around US $1 trillion. In addition, it has a long and strategically important coastline that connects to the Strait of Hormuz—an important shipping route in the Persian Gulf. It’s this mineral wealth, natural resources and strategic location that makes Balochistan the cash cow for Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
In 2015, Pakistan and its ally China launched the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) that has mega infrastructure projects worth $46 billion. The CPEC infrastructure projects also include the ambitious plan to connect China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region with Balochistan’s Gwadar port. A mega-infrastructure project of such magnitude was expected to create jobs and spur development, but Balochistan continues to be robbed off its minerals and CPEC has only hastened the plunder of Balochistan’s natural resources. The project cost in CPEC has increased to $60 billion today and yet instead of development trickling down, the rapes and murders have only increased across Balochistan.
“China is plundering the Baloch national wealth in Saindak Gold and Copper Project with both hands. CPEC has its benefits in Panjab (province of Pakistan) while Balochistan has been made the ground for its garbage, climate change and obviously the Baloch genocide,” Dr Allah Nazar Baoch pro-independence leader of Balochistan told News Intervention. Dr Allah Nazar heads the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) that has been fighting for Balochistan’s independence for several years. He explained that the CPEC is just a shrewd plan to loot the national wealth of Balochistan.
“Yes, CPEC is a huge plan to change the demography of the Baloch nation and to bring the Panjabis (of Pakistan) to exploit the Baloch resources along with China. Baloch nation is resisting it and will make it an unsuccessful project. The Baloch independent struggle continues and is heading towards its destination. We will get our freedom at any cost,” Dr Allah Nazar said emphatically.
“… our enemy (Pakistan) has gathered all of its resources and invited its allied forces by cheaply bargaining our national resources to crush our national struggle. In this situation continuing the struggle is itself a sign of conscious and a living nation. Today, the world has already acknowledged the fact that Pakistan in league with China has been engaged in carrying out unparalleled atrocities in Balochistan. In this hardest period, not only did the Baloch maintain their existence, but have also overpowered all the imperialistic campaigns of the enemy. The military was forced to get out of their barracks and be deployed across Balochistan. This indicates the defeat of our enemy and is a sign of clear victory for us,” Dr Allah Nazar explained further.
Baloch are fierce nationalists who have now taken upon themselves to free their nation from the illegal occupation of Pakistan. They see the CPEC as a sell-out of Balochistan to China in a backdoor and devious policy devised by the Pakistan Army. Baloch youth have upped the ante to free their nation and are willing to endure harsh terrain, hunger, thirst and extreme weather. “…the support of the Baloch nation, the sacrifice by our youth and their invincible determination for the desired destination provides us a level of energy that no power of the world can defeat,” said Dr Allah Nazar Baloch.
He reiterated that Balochistan’s national struggle goes on with the support and power of their people. “Today, I want to make one thing clear that Pakistan created bloodshed to crush this movement, dishonoured our women, thousands of Baloch were put into torture cells, millions of families are displaced, thousands of Baloch are in exile. The entire Balochistan nation is paying a heavy price. Whosoever betrays the sacrifice of Baloch nation and bargains the Baloch people’s blood for personal gains then the Baloch nation, history and Baloch national struggle will certainly fix their accountability,” Dr Allah Nazar Baloch said, his determination firm and resolve rock solid.