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Pilgrim Fathers in Gawadar

Extraordinary Rendition

By: Hakim Hazik

This splendid ship has dropped anchor in the port of Gawadar. No, no I do not mean any of the celebrated TV presenters, who are all here, flown first class, courtesy of tax payer and IMF and put up in the excellent Intercontinental hotel.

The whole cabinet is here. This ship, although built to the highest specification can only take so much tonnage, and clearly with the number and size of our esteemed ministers, elementary precautions have to be taken. This has been achieved by jettisoning some of the local Baluchis over board. They will have to sink and swim on their own merit.

We are well on the way to transform the fate of Baluchistan. This is about to become the trade route to central Asia. Modern motorways will crisscross the province to connect Qandahar, Kabul, Tashkent, Ashgabat, Almaty and Dushanbe. A gleaming new city will rise in Gawadar to rival Dubai. Artificial islands will be built in the Arabian Sea. Investors from all over the world will flock to this new regional hub to invest in skyscrapers. Baluchistan will be the new buzzword on the international financial scene.

As Baluchistan starts its spectacular rise, we have to find a solution for the Baluchis. We think it would be wrong to kill them or extradite them. We have to find a humane solution and try to ameliorate their misery and wretchedness. With the newly emerging cornucopia, they will have plenty of opportunities to improve their lot. They can easily find employment as porters and wage labourers and make a contribution in the building of new high rise apartment blocks. Their women can work as nannies and domestic servants in the houses of international investors, who will make Gawadar their home.

Thus they could send back money to their households in the hinterland to invest in plots of land to till, and rear poultry, goats, and camels. This will bring about a well deserved improvement in their quality of life. They obviously would not be able to buy property in Gawadar, which will have become one of the most expensive real estates in the world. Their number in the metropolis will also have to be controlled, by careful monitoring of work permits and a visa scheme, to avoid homelessness and emergence of shanty towns.

It is true that because of their nomadic culture some of the Baluchis may not be able to adjust to the new urban reality which they will increasingly have to face. It may be reasonable to facilitate their removal to Afghanistan on a compassionate basis, so that they can continue to maintain their culture and way of life which they are so fond of.

The natural resources, including gas fields and copper mines will have to be safeguarded. Special militias will have to be raised, as the army has other commitemnts such as real estate and industrial sector. It may be best to avoid local recruitment because of the complex ethnic situation and variable martial ability of the local races. Nepal and Bangladesh could be potential recruitment areas.

We have made a great beginning, befitting of a sovereign nation, by being able to divide equitably, the IMF baksheesh through the NFC award.  Now we should take the next step by amicably developing Baluchistan and giving reasonable options to the Baluchis.

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