The Double Standards of Balochistan’s Chief Minister

The people of Balochistan will continue to suffer as long as people like Dr. Malik continue to be their Chief Minster.

balochistan-chief-minister

Balochistan Chief Minister (left). Credit: The author

Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch, Chief Minister of Balochistan visited flood hit areas in Multan on 17th September. He was greeted by his counterpart in Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif.

At the occasion Dr. Malik gave a cheque of Rs. 100 million and 3 truckloads as aid for the flood victims of Punjab. Helping anyone at the time of crisis is a noble thing to do but in this case it reflects double standards and apathy of CM balochistan towards his own people.

How it’s a case of double standards? Let’s see what happened in Awaran last year. On 24th September 2013, a devastating earthquake flattened Awaran district in Balochistan. The magnitude of earthquake was recorded 7.7 on Richter scale and 90% of the Awaran district was completely destroyed.

There is no exact figure available about the causalities but according to modest estimates, 300-500 people died and hundreds of thousands were rendered homeless. A year has been passed since that devastating earthquake and people of Awaran are still waiting for the financial assistance promised by Dr. Malik.

Dr. Malik had promised to pay annually Rs. 80,000 per family in Awaran, for three years, so that the victims can rebuilt their hut type houses. The amount donated to Punjab flood victims could have been used to pay house building allowances in one installment rather than three.

Now, people of Awaran have to wait for 3 long years to rebuild their homes. This is a clear case of double standards where CM is the one to be blamed. He couldn’t help his own people and he is all prepared to help the flood victims in Punjab. There is no harm in helping Punjab flood victims if there was no such urgency at home.

In the budget passed by Balochistan government for fiscal year 2014-15, there was no allocation for earthquake victims. Rs. 200 million was allocated for Awaran district only and that were for reconstruction of the schools. According to sources, governments of Oman and Turkey had paid financial aid for the Earthquake victims of Awaran. However that aid has no reached the people of Awaran in any way.

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It would have been great if Dr. Malik, Chief Minister of Balochistan, had used the 100 million for Awaran Earthquake victims rather than Punjab flood victims. The Punjab and Federal government have sufficient resources to help those suffering in Punjab. However, the people of Awaran are not as lucky, and there is no one to help them if the Chief Minister of their own province is indifferent to their sufferings.

A question arises: Why did Dr. Malik commit this double standard?

The answer is simple. Dr. Malik is Chief Minister because of the blessings of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N).

By donating some money to Punjab, Dr. Malik did nothing but pleased his benefactor at the detriment of the people of Awaran. A lot has been written about the failures of Dr. Malik as Chief Minister, but this double standard must be heartbreaking for even his diehard supporters.

The destiny of the people of Balochistan can never change if they are ruled by people like Dr. Malik.

Dr. Malik is not even a genuine representative of the people of Balochistan after evidence surfaced relating to rigging in his constituency. In such circumstances if he has to remain in power than he must please his bosses. Dr. Malik is doing the job of pleasing them in the form of appointing Arsalan Iftikhar as Vice-Chairman of Balochistan Board of investment and by donating hefty amounts to Punjab.

The people of Balochistan will continue to suffer as long as people like Dr. Malik continue to be their Chief Minster. He derives his power not from people of the province but from the ruling elite of Pakistan based in Lahore.

Adnan Aamir is a freelance researcher, analyst and columnist. Adnan is also editor of The Balochistan Point, an online newspaper from Pakistan. Follow him on Twitter @iAdnanAamir and visit his blog http://www.adnan-aamir.com. Read other articles by Adnan.

  • omer

    so sad brother but i am there for baluchi brothers working with FIF and i will do my best