BNP-M President Sardar Akhtar Mengal urged the Pakistan government to prevent the people of Gwadar and the rest of Balochistan from becoming a minority in their own province, Express Tribune reported.
“Questions about Balochistan’s minerals and resources fall into the category of treason,” the MNA said while talking to the media in Quetta after his party met to discuss the Reqo Dik project.
“We will not support any agreement until the problems of the people here (in the province) are solved,” he added. “The owners of the resources of Balochistan are its people.”
Mengal further said according to the Constitution, wherever natural resources were discovered, the first right belongs to the locals, the report said.
“The people of Balochistan have 50 per cent right over their minerals.” He demanded that refineries should be set up in those areas for testing minerals.
He recalled that gas was discovered in Balochistan in 1952. “Balochistan used to supply gas to 46 per cent of the country, but today the reserves have shrunk to 15 per cent.”
He lamented the non-payment of gas royalty to Balochistan. “Even royalty is also given like charity.”
The BNP-M chief regretted that apart from a few district headquarters, Balochistan was deprived of its own gas production. “Even Quetta (the provincial capital) has no gas for cooking.”
He maintained that minerals from Saindak were looted, instead of providing employment.
He claimed that the minerals of Balochistan had been used to develop other parts of the country.
Mengal said despite spending billions of rupees, no development had taken place in Gwadar.
He added that the lack of trust had changed the situation in Balochistan and the province was undergoing its fifth or sixth military operation now.
(Sanjeev Sharma can be reached at Sanjeev.email@example.com)