The political, social and economic situation in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Gilgit-Baltistan is unsatisfactory. The people, in general, are not happy with their living conditions and the policies of the government. They are, overall, poor, backward and uneducated. They feel that the governments have failed to solve their problems. They also feel that they do not have the ability, energy or resources to change their fates.
The British, in fear of the Russian advances, supported the Baloch chiefs or “maliks,” known as (tumandars, headed by the Khan of Kalat. They established their administrative control by distributing money among the tribal chiefs and gained control of huge territories. The princely lords of the Lasbela, Mekran, Kharan, and Kalat states joined Pakistan at Partition. But Balochistan did not enjoy the status of a province for 25 years. Its first provincial assembly was elected in 1970. This was criminal negligence on our rulers. part. The rulers remained engaged in their own competitions and conflicts with the army. On the one hand, they lost Kashmir and East Pakistan, and, on the other, destroyed the future of the poor people. However, Sui gas was used by the country and minerals were exported in huge quantities. Now some mega-projects like the Gwadar Port, coastal highway, the Miran dam, etc. are in progress.
The story of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is no different. The British distributed money among tribal chiefs to establish their administrative control and the “khasdar” force. They encouraged “jirgas” and agreements with the tribesmen, especially in Waziristan. When the tribesmen became violent, they bombarded them and then found ways of talks (negotiations) with them. The agents of the tribal agencies controlled the people on behalf of the English rulers. The tribal heads grew in power and wealth, and the common people went on going down. The war in Afghanistan in the 1980s drew the tribesmen into it, who became part of the Taliban movement. In continuation of the British policies, our rulers did not attend to the well-being, progress, and advancement of the common people except for the construction of some dams and roads, the opening of some new schools, colleges and universities and limited industrialization. The drug trade and smuggling continued as usual.
The unrest in Swat was part of the circle of politics and social situation in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The solution to the troubles and problems in all the frontier and northern areas lies in education and economic development of a high order. The rise and fall of terrorism depend on the political and economic situation in these areas.
The gates to social disappointments and defeats are opened easily by unwise and thoughtless.rulers in undeveloped lands. The military conflict between the government agencies and the feudal lords in Balochistan culminated (resulted) in 2006 in the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti. In fact, the arrest of the Nawab and his fair trial in a court of law were required.
Now, firstly, we should speedily educate the common people to a certain level. Secondly, the use of force in political matters should be avoided. The “sardars” and tribal chiefs may be engaged in prolonged talks. But terrorism and lawlessness should be crushed. Decisions through “jirgas” and assemblies can be arrived at.
Thirdly, development work should be such as benefits the common people most of all. Fourthly, industrial and agricultural development should be fast and effective to all possible levels,
Fifthly, more funds should be provided for the development of the two provinces and the northern areas than their share in the national budget. Sixthly, government agencies and the armed forces should check and guard the border areas. They should check illegal entrants and the smuggling of goods, narcotics (drugs) and arms. The influence and power of the “sardars” and tribal heads and dangerous traditions can be controlled then. The formation of the Gilgit-Baltistan laws and elected Assembly is the initial right steps.