November 27, 2014
Since the rise of militancy in Balochistan, education of the children and Youth has been hit very hard like other social sectors, casting shadows on the future of the new generation. The militants have not only destroyed the buildings of educational institutions but also blocked the students to go to their schools.
Attacks on schools and teachers have forced roughly 70,000 children to discontinue education this year. Approx 1.3m children throughout the province are not going to school due to militant attacks and their threats. A high dropout rate and poor access of children to school have emerged as the biggest challenge in the province. It is to be highlighted that how these militant groups are working for a long term strategy aiming at keeping the Baloch youth illiterate and backward.
Driving out Punjabis and other settlers from Makran, which comprises Kech, Mand, Gwadar and Pasni districts, has also adversely impacted education in the area, as these non-Baloch were prominently represented in the teaching and technical professions. But there is a realization in common Baloch that they are being used by the dissident sardars and centrifugal forces. Former leading Baloch militants lobbyist in the US Wahid Baloch dissolved Baloch Society of North America (BSONA) on 30th May 2014 and established of a new body by the name of Baloch Council of North America (BCNA). He announced disassociation from the so-called war of independence of Khans, Nawabs and Sardars. He said that the policy of hate and bigotry will be replaced with the policy of love, mutual respect and understanding, cooperation and confidence building, tolerance and accommodation.
He vowed that the BCNA would work in Pakistani federation with the elected Balochistan government and pro-federation democratic forces of Pakistan to fight for and ensure the rights of Baloch people. Moreover, BCNA has invited all Baloch Diaspora leaders and activists for a positive and constructive dialogue that can help resolve the Balochistan issue and its related problems. On his Face Book message Dr. Wahid Baloch stated: Baloch militant groups, Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and Balochistan Republican Army (BRA), are taking advantage of high unemployment in Mekran and are hiring Baloch youth between the ages 15-20 years to fight their so-called war of independence. Their objective is to get them killed so that they can sell their blood for personal gains.
He warned the leaders of above terrorist organizations to stop this practice otherwise BCNA will ask the US State department to declare BLA and BRA as terrorist organizations. Reportedly, BCNA is already preparing a petition to file with the US government in this regard. In view of the involvement of BRA and BLA in acts of killings of innocent people, the US government is under obligation to declare these organizations as terrorist organizations. Chief Minister of Balochistan had been part of arms resistance of Mari tribe. It is worth mentioning that Abdul Malik Baloch after taking oath as Balochistan CM had in an interview with a private channel admitted that joining Khair Bakhsh Maris arms resistance movement was his mistake; anyhow, this new realization needs to be appreciated.
Various governments in the past, whether military or elected had appeased and mollycoddled illusive sardars, chieftains and local wielders who have been riding a rough shod over Baloch commoners, particularly youth. During previous governments tenure, billions of rupees were poured into the provincial treasury from the centre but one would not see any worthwhile project with first-class educational facilities in diverse fields and disciplines for the Baloch youth.
According to media reports a great part of funds allocated for Balochistan development was squandered or landed into the pockets of sardars; thus depriving the youth of opportunities for education and skill-development. The new provincial government is taking sensible decisions, and is the first province having conducted Local Bodies Elections.
Let all and sundry know that for the states raw deal, the common Baloch youth was very disgruntled, very angry and in a very nasty mood. It is he who needs to be cajoled, pacified and appeased, not the scions of sardars working on aliens agendas. Invest in him to be a proud Pakistani, and give him opportunities to grow and flourish. In it lies the real key to the solution of Balochistan problems. Everything else is mere ruse. Dr. Wahid Baloch realized that peaceful means to achieve rights of the Baloch people could help achieve the rights of Baloch people, and militancy could lead to death and destruction. It is hoped that other dissident leaders would also join the mainstream politics for the progress and prosperity of Balochistan and Pakistan.