Reforming the Reformers in Balochistan

The Chief Minister’s Policy Reforms Unit (CMPRU) has been hailed as a revolutionary step of the Balochistan chief minister by many analysts.

balochistan-chief-ministerQUETTA  The Chief Minister’s Policy Reforms Unit (CMPRU) is an autonomous organization established in 2013 to provide research-based policy support to the Balochistan government.

A discovery of errors in its recent publications and structural flaws prove that CMPRU needs reforms.

On December 8, 2014 CMPRU launched a set of publications that it has produced after extensive research work. One particular publication, “Mapping of Rural Settlements,” which is about geographic and demographic descriptions of all Balochistan districts, contains numerous errors. Many people have directly contacted The Balochistan Point and pointed out the errors in that publication.

Title imageErrors

  • Quetta district is shown as having borders with Afghanistan which is incorrect.
    There are two towns in Quetta, namely Chiltan and Zarghoon town. The locations of both towns have been replaced by one another.
  • District Harnai is shown sharing borders with district Mastung which is geographically incorrect.
  • District Washuk has 11 Union Councils and the publication only shows nine.
  • Sixteen out of 21 Union councils of Panjgur District are recorded in the publication.

Harnai-errorThe aforementioned errors are only related to boundaries of districts and union councils. Apart from them there are several other mistakes including the misplacement of population settlements, incorrect projected population and vague mapping numbers.

The CMPRU website states that the “Chief Minister highly appreciated these publications and directed the chief secretary to prepare implementation strategy for these policy recommendations.” This clearly shows that the Balochistan chief minister is not aware of the errors in the publications.

The Balochistan chief minister has appealed to the publication that the data will be of great use to the government in planning. If the planning process makes use of the aforementioned data then it will be flawed from the outset.

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Head of CMPRU

Dr. Kaiser Bengali, head of CMPRU, rejected the notion that CMPRU is to be blamed for the errors in the publication.

“CMPRU has used data provided by Planning & Development department of Balochistan for boundaries and if there are errors in their data then we don’t have the mandate to fix them,” said Mr. Bengali while talking to The Balochistan Point.

He further added, “We have posted the publication on the CMPRU website and the data will be updated on the website with the passage of time.”

When asked by The Balochistan Point if he can use his capacity as head of the CMPRU he simply replied, “I can’t, it not in my mandate.”

In response to another question the Baloch minister said “Even if the errors are not fixed for next five years there is nothing he and the CMPRU can do.”

The CMPRU has been hailed as a revolutionary step of the Balochistan chief minister by many analysts and therefore it needs to be empowered and regulated. “Publishing basic errors in publications and citing data errors is not an acceptable excuse,” added the analyst.

In the best interests of the Baloch people the errors should be corrected sooner than later.

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 www.adnan-aamir.com. Read other articles by Adnan.