Balochistan conundrum

It is quite unfortunate that the Western media in particular seems to have lost the sight of journalism’s cardinal principle: objectivity. It is, for example, vigorously campaigning against China’s OBOR initiative and its flagship project China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It has been found to be trying to create a dangerous misperception in this regard. According to it, China’s megaprojects have been fuelling unease in Pakistan. The premise of its claim is last week’s assault on the Chinese consulate general in Karachi in which all the terrorists were killed while all diplomatic staff remained safe.

It is also quite unfortunate that the so-called Baloch ‘nationalists’ who are opposed to the CPEC are in fact doing the bidding of the forces or countries that are inimical to deepening China-Pakistan friendship; they do not have legitimate grievances or plausible arguments against the CPEC or the progress and prosperity of the Baloch people is associated with this historic infrastructure project.

Broadly speaking, however, the Baloch complaints with regard to lack of social and economic development in their province are genuine. Our successive governments’ lack of political will to address their issues with sincerity seems to have enabled the disgruntled elements to build up an anti-China narrative. While the last PML-N government did little or nothing in this regard, the Zardari government’s ‘Balochistan Package’ was too little and too late.

Karachi Naqi Zafar