Baloch nationalists determined to prevent further exploitation of their region for the enrichment of Punjab

Islamabad [Pakistan], Dec.28 : Baloch nationalists in Pakistan and in other parts of the world have said that they are determined to prevent the further exploitation of their region for the enrichment of the country's Punjab province.

This warning came as well placed sources confirmed the discovery of a huge reserve of oil and gas in the Jandran area of Balochistan's Marri Agency.

The sources said that this latest discovery of gas reserves was much bigger than the gas reserves found in Sui Dera Bugti region in early 1950.

The Baloch have been agitating for greater autonomy since Pakistan was created in August 1947. The unrest in Balochistan can be traced to the country's creation and the 1948 annexation of the Kalat state - the biggest region in the province.

Today, Baloch nationalists in Pakistan and abroad are consistent in their feelings that the authorities headquartered in Islamabad repeatedly act in a manner that is completely devoid of moral and legal sanctity, and this feeling has remained in mind and heart for the past 68 years.

Over the past 68 years, there have been four insurgencies in Balochistan: in 1948, in 1962-69, in 1974-77, and the current nationalist movement that began in 2006.

At the heart of the matter is the failure of successive Pakistan governments to realize that the Baloch people perceive that their land and resources are being unfairly exploited by non-locals.

All of these nationalist movements, the conflict with the federal government is over who fundamentally controls the land and its resources; why there is always a need for strengthening of the security infrastructure in the province and why is the natural wealth of the province collected and use for the benefit of provinces like Punjab and Sindh.

Well placed sources confirmed that gas reserve found in Jandran region is much bigger than gas found in Sui Gas reserves from Sui first and followed by two other big reserves at Pir Koh and Loti field.

Sui gas was main cause of industrial revolution in Pakistan, mainly in Karachi and Central Punjab where gas replaced oil as an energy substitute, reports The News.

The fourth gas reserve was also found in Bugti tribal territory in Uch Mountains and the gas is being used by a private concern producing electricity at the two Uch Power Plants near Dera Murad Jamali in Naseerabad.

The electricity produced at Uch Power Plant is sold to WAPDA and transmitted to National Grid in nearby province of Sindh and mainly its upper region.

Issues related to Balochistan have a historical, political and socio-economic dimension and context, which no regime of Pakistan has been able to effectively and prudently address.

According to many Baloch nationalist leaders, there is a lack of political will and determination in Pakistan's corridors of power to address what many nationalists call "forced occupation" of their land.

Source: ANI