By Safiullah Shahwani
Much of the prosperity and wellbeing of a particular population depends on how the economic policies are made and implemented by the ones at the helm of affairs. Today’s world is a world of diversity. Undoubtedly, economy is no exception to this. Of late, an oil producing giant like Saudia Arabia has felt the need of diversification of its economy and hence is making a fundamental shift from an oil economy to a diverse one.
However, with Pakistani policymakers, the main relying factor to keep the economic affairs going has been its geo-strategic importance. Having more than a thousand kilometer coast on the warm waters of Arabian Sea, a deep seaport yet to be developed at the horns of Strait of Hormuz and long borders with Afghanistan, China and Iran, Pakistan has had factors that have always catapulted it into global and regional war zones to be an important player. Many in Pakistan have made fortunes by playing the geo-strategic hide and seek with the world powers. But what about the owners of the very coast which happens to sit in the turbulent lands of Balochistan—a province that has seen five active insurgencies, separatist movements and much beyond.
A bird’s eye view on the administrative, political and social landscap of Balochistan tells miserable stories of entrenched corruption, mal-governance, disinformation and violence. This scribe travelled to Gaddani, the only Ship Breaking Yard and a small fishing Town in District Lasbela and met with few fishermen to know if the incumbent government has made any policies to improve their standards of life. They all said that they have seen nothing on ground to improve their plight. However, the government in seat has made claims through news conferences, pressers and handouts that it has allocated funds to promote tourism in Balochistan through improving the situation at the coastal towns to make them attractive for tourists. Let’s have a pictorial visit of these areas and judge for yourself if things have improved.