Balochistan is the province
of Pakistan and it has opulence of natural resources, minerals, coal mines and
natural harbor. Its natural resources are benefitting the whole country and
assisting in thriving its economy. There are coal mines in Bolan, Much and in
Dukki, Loralai areas. There are high deposits of sulphur, gold, copper, iron,
blister copper in the gigantic mountains of district Chaghi, Balochistan. Rekodik and Sandik are the places in Chaghi
from where these minerals are being extracted by the foreign companies since 1970`s.
In 1952 the methane gas was discovered in the area of Sui, Dera Bugti. It is
fulfilling more than 50% need of natural gas of total populace.
mineral resources rich province of Balochistan Saindak is the famous place for
the deposits of gold and copper in District Chaghi. It is situated adjacent to the border of Iran. It is being managed
by the foreign company of China.
An extensive survey
was done at Saindak by the government with the cooperation of foreign company,
where they discovered deposits of gold and copper. In the International market the deposits of
gold and copper are valuable. According to estimates, Saindak
project can produce 412 million tons of ore containing iron, gold and blister
copper and has the capacity to produce 15,800 tons of copper containing 1.5-ton
gold 2.8-ton silver. In 1995 a government company ‘Saindak Metals Ltd’, commenced
the project but it was halted due to perennial bureaucratic interventions. The
Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) was given this project under a
ten-year lease by the military dictator General Pervez Musharraf in 2001. In
2011 a new agreement by ex-prime minister Syed Yousef Raza Gillani (PPP’s) was
ink in which lease was extended to 2017.
In the initiative
stages it was agreed by the Chinese company and Pakistani government without
consulting Balochistan that China will take the lion share of 75%, the federal
government will take 24% share and 1% share will be given to Balochistan. The
lease was to be ended in the end of 2011. The controversial move was taken by
the federal government without consulting the provincial government. The lease
of deal was further extended. Doing something without consulting the province
means the government don’t care about the interests of province, but pursue
In 2011 the project
will end and the whole control of project will be to the provincial government.
Later the provincial government agreed to extend the lease up to 2017, under
Aghaz-e-Haqooq Balochistan package in which Balochistan would be getting 35% share
as Saindak Metal Limited (SML) was to be transferred in Balochistan.The project
in the area was as an investment but not a loan. In the Saindak project there
is no proper check and balance mechanism for checking the production. It seems
that China have been given free hand to exploit the resources of Balochistan.
With no check and balance criteria, China can extract most of the resources in
this time period under which lease has been allotted to them.
was promised by the federal government that with the start of this project,
progress would arise in that area. It is one of the most backward and
underprivileged area of Balochistan. More than ten years have passed, but still
the promise is not fulfilled, the area is still underdeveloped. The unemployment
rate is high. People have become frustrate from these hollow claims. Even the
locals of that place have not clean water to drink and are not allowed to enter
the area of production.
Rekodik is second major site also famous for
the copper and gold minerals after Saindak. Rekodik contains 5.9 billion tons
of ore, annually 200,000 tons of copper and 25,000 ounces of gold is produced.
IN the regime of caretaker government in 1993, Balochistan Development
Authority (BDA) offered it as a lease to an Australian company, Broken Hill
Proprietary (BHP). Then BHP sold it to a company known as Tethyan Copper
Company (TCC) which is equally bought by Barrick Gold of Canada and Antofagasta
minerals of Chile. 75% shares are equally distributed between these two
companies and 25% shares are given to Balochistan. This time also after getting
passed from Federal government of Pakistan only a minuscule amount reached to
the provincial government.
It is afore mentioned
that it was awarded by BDA under the caretaker government it was declared
illegal by the court. The Ministry of Minerals is responsible for minerals
handling, but it was not taken into consultation. The Supreme Court declared
this contract illegal, but TCC also raised this case in the International Court
It was illegally
signed by the Balochistan government, so there is no need to pass the buck on
the federal government. All the blame goes to the Balochistan government here. Moreover,
the 25% share also goes to the Balochistan government not to the federal
government. They didn’t pay anything in the project for the shares. The fate of
the project lies in the hand of the Balochistan government. Whatever, which is
concerned with Rekodik project is on the shoulders of Balochistan government
and foreign company, federal government has nothing to do with it according to
On the other hand, the
government cannot take the whole responsibility of extracting the minerals. If
it excludes the foreign investors, then it has to pay the amount invested. It
requires a big amount to be invested and machinery, which the government cannot
When BHP (Foreign
Company), failed to take out profits from the Rekodik project, it sold it to
TCC. It was the fault of Balochistan government that it didn’t refused the
transfer of Rekodik project from BHP to TCC. It also shows that the government
of Blaochistan was not giving much attention to this project.
Most of the people
don’t even know that it was initiative of the government of Balochistan. According
to them the federal government is linked with this project, so they have been
used by some of the organizations for political purposes to create more space
between the people of Balochistan and federal government.
Gawader port is the
natural port of Pakistan located in the area of Kech. It is located on the
Arabian sea, which is in the South of Pakistan. Its importance was realized in
1954 before it was under the suzerainty of Oman. Since from the inception of
Pakistan this area holds the pivotal position because of access to the warm
water. This natural is also deemed as game changer for Pakistan. Every
successive government have manifest keen interest in Gawader port but no any
decisive was taken. The port was inaugurated by Pervaiz Musharraf in 2007. The
era of Pakistan Muslim League-N proved to be an opportunity. In the tenure of
PML-N, a quantum step was taken to bolster the faltering economy of Pakistan.
The China and Pakistan Economic Corridor was signed between two premiers of
China and Pakistan on 18 April, 2014. Chinese promised to invest 46$ Billion
dollars in myriad projects of Pakistan. Later the amount of deal was increased
to 62$ billion dollars. It entails the hefty projects like Roadways, Railways,
Special Economic Zones, Energy production, Mass transit.
Jiwani is another
commercial port located along the Gawader port along the Gulf of Oman. It also
holds the strategic importance because it provides navigation to the ships from
the Persion Gulf. It is a major exporter of all variety of fishes to other
cities of Pakistan.
Sui Gas Project:
is an area located in Dera Bugti, Balochistan. Gas was discovered there in 1952
and was being delivered to different parts of Pakistan by 1955. It is playing a
major role in running the economy of Pakistan. In the early times it was
Balochistan, which supplied gas to Pakistan due to which country became able to
run the industries of beloved country, because at that time gas was not dug out
to the Article 158 of constitution, the province from where natural gas is
produced would have advantage in getting supplies of that gas. This means that
any province from where natural gas is discovered shall have preference over
other parts of Pakistan. But it is opposite in case of Balochistan. In Article
161.2, it is stated that royalty collected by the federal government should be
paid to the province from where gas is produced. The government of Balochistan
has got only 12.4% royalty from the federal government. This shows that federal
government has violated the constitution and have taken out the resources, but
have not given the shares of Balochistan of gas, which it deserves.
policy of government increased the grievances of people of Balochistan. In
response the government in 2004, formed a committee to deal with Balochistan.
The committee recommendations were very good, among one of which was that
Balochistan would be given maximum representation in Pakistan Petroleum Limited
(PPL), but were never fully applied to the province. With time, the grievances
had increased which later turned into insurgency with the killing of Nawab
Akbar Khan Bugti in 2006, Kohlu
government has done injustices by not giving them equal share in the resources
being discovered in Balochistan. The federal government has sought help from
the foreign companies to exploit the resources in some areas of Balochistan.
The further aggravated the situation in the province and accentuated the sense
of deprivation among the people of Balochistan. Among the demands of
nationalists one is equal share of resources. But all responsibility not goes
on the shoulders of the federal government as discussed in the case of Rekodik
project, Balochistan government is also responsible for not giving the people
access to the resources.
Baloch Nationalism and The Geopolitics of
Energy Resources: The Changing Context of Separatism in Pakistan by Robert G.
Dashti, Naseer, “The Baloch and Balochistan”
Farhan Siddiqi, (2015) Political Economy of the
Ethnonationalist Uprising in Pakistani Balochistan, 1999-2013. In Economic
Perspectives on Conflict in South Asia, edited by Matthew Webb and Albert
Wijeweera. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan