13 April 2013

Role of the Pakistan Armed Forces in the Development of Balochistan

The 653-km long Makran Coastal Highway (N-10) in southern Balochistan,
constructed by the Pakistan Army's Frontier Works Organization (FWO)

The overwhelming majority of development projects carried out in Balochistan province since 1947 have been undertaken either by the Federal Government of Pakistan or the Pakistan Armed Forces, particularly the Pakistan Army. The reason for this has been the domination of Balochistan's provincial government and politics by tribal chiefs, or sardars, who have deliberately kept Balochistan's population economically weak and illiterate in order to prevent them from challenging the status quo, which sustains the political and economic power of the sardars.

Pakistan's Balochistan province spans an area of 347,190 sq. km. (134,050 sq. m.), which constitutes approximately 44% of Pakistan's total land mass. Its population of approximately 10 million constitutes only 5% of Pakistan's total population. This gives Balochistan a population density of only 29 persons per sq. km. These factors should be taken into account while assessing development in Balochistan. Due to its relatively small population, any given development project in Balochistan has a proportionately higher socio-economic impact and return when compared to a similar development project in any other province of Pakistan.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of development projects undertaken in Balochistan by the Pakistan Armed Forces, the majority of them by the Pakistan Army in the last 10 years:

1. Army Recruitment

4,000 recruits from Balochistan were inducted into the Pakistan Army on 29 October 2010 in simultaneous ceremonies held in Quetta, Khuzdar, Sibi, Sui and Zhob

Between 2009 and 2013, the Pakistan Army recruited 10,082 youths from Balochistan into its ranks.

This was done by the following relaxation in recruitment rules for the youths of Balochistan:
* Education induction as soldiers from 8th Class instead of Matric in all arms/services except Technical arms
* Height 5’- 4” instead of 5’- 6” and chest 74-79 cm instead of 78-83 cm except trades in which height and chest is required more than 5’- 6” and 78-83 cm
* Age 26 years instead of 23 years and FA/FSc grade ‘D’ instead of grade ‘C’ for enrollment as a clerk
Currently, 15,000 soldiers from Balochistan are serving in the Pakistan Army. This number does not include officers, nor those from Balochistan serving in the Pakistan Navy and Air Force. Thus, at least 15,000 families from Balochistan have representation in the Pakistan Army. According to the Population Association of Pakistan (www.pap.org.pk), the average household size in Balochistan is 6.7, therefore, 100,500 people from Balochistan have either a father, son, brother or husband in the Pakistan Army. This is significant if we take into account the fact that the total population of Balochistan is only 10 million.

2. Establishment of Educational Institutions

The Pakistan Armed Forces have established the following educational institutions in Balochistan (in alphabetical order):
* Army Institute of Mineralogy (AIM), Quetta
* Army Public School, Loralai
* Army Public School, Sibi
* Army Public School, Zhob
* Balochistan Institute of Marine Sciences (BIMS)
* Balochistan Institute of Technical Education (BITE), Quetta
* Balochistan Public School, Sui (BPSS)
* 2 Fauji Foundation Education Schools
* 1 Fauji Foundation Vocational Training Centre
* FC Public School, Barkhan (600 students)
* FC Public School, Bolan
* FC Public School, Chaman
* FC Public School & College, Dera Bugti
* FC Public School, Fazal Chak
* FC Public School, Kohlu (1200 students)
* FC Public School & College, Loralai
* FC Public College, Naukundi
* FC Public School & College, Nushki
* Chamalang Beneficiary Education Programme (CBEP)
* Garrison Degree College, Quetta
* Gwadar Institute of Technology (GIT)
* Military College Sui (MCS)
* Quetta Institute of Medical Sciences (QIMS)
The above does not include the numerous Pakistan Army establishments across Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan that have admitted thousands of students from Balochistan for education and training.

3. Establishment of Hospitals

The Pakistan Armed Forces have established the following hospitals and medical centres in Balochistan (in alphabetical order):
* Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Quetta
* 1 Fauji Foundation Medical Centre
* FC Hospital in Quetta
* PNS Darmaan Jah, Ormara (100-bed hospital established by the Pakistan Navy, the first and only hospital in Ormara)
* 50-bed Hospital in Sui (constructed by the Pakistan Army)
4. Area Development Projects

The Pakistan Army has undertaken the following development projects in Balochistan (in alphabetical order):
* Chamalang Coal Mine Project, District Loralai
* Dera Bugti Development Project
* Dukki Coal Mine Project, District Loralai
* Kassa Hill Marble Project, District Loralai
* Kohlu Development Project
* Musa Khel Mineral Development Project
* Panjgur Date Farming Project
* Ziarat Development Project
5. Infrastructure Projects

The Pakistan Army's Frontier Works Organization (FWO) has constructed the following infrastructure projects in Balochistan:
* 653-km Makran Coastal Higway (N-10) from Karachi to Gwadar
* 180 metre long Lakpass Tunnel 27 km from Quetta on N-25 National Highway with approach road of 5.3 km
* 35-km Peri-Gabd section of Makran Coastal Highway (N-10)
* New Gwadar International Airport Package-A Site Protection Works -18 KMs
* 38-km Gwadar-Pleri-Jiwani section of Makran Coastal Highway
* Upgradation, widening and construction of Surab-Basima Road
* 448-km Nag-Panjgur-Hoshab Road Project
* Design and construction of Mangi Dam and 108-km Water Conveyance System
6. Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Projects

The Pakistan Army has established the following water, sanitation and irrigation projects in Balochistan:
* Augmentation of Water Sanitation Scheme (WSS), Kohlu Town
* Water Sanitation Scheme (WSS), Lasezai
* Water Sanitation Scheme Naseebabad to Brohi Killi Faiz Muhammad
* Rehabilitation of Water Sanitation Scheme, Malikzai, Kohlu
* Water Sanitation Scheme, Sahib Khan
* Water Sanitation Scheme Barily (Kishari Thal (Maiwand)
7. Sports Projects

The Pakistan Army has established the following sports facilities in Balochistan:
* Garrison Sports Complex, Quetta
The above facts highlight the positive role played by the Pakistan Armed Forces in the development of Balochistan province and should dispel many of the myths and propaganda against the Pakistan Armed Forces, particularly the Pakistan Army, vis-a-vis Balochistan.

10 April 2013

In Solidarity with the Pakistan Army

"Keep your arms and armour in order, and make certain they come out easily and freely from the sheath." - Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib (R.A.)
A Pakistan Army officer communicating with terrorists of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the only language they understand. For the past 5 days, the Pakistan Army is fighting pitched battles with foreign-backed TTP terrorists in the Tirah Valley in northwestern Pakistan who have infiltrated into Pakistan from Afghanistan.

(click to enlarge)