Balochistan requires fresh development policy on fast track basis.

Author:Fazl-E-Haider, Syed

Byline: Syed Fazl-E-Haider

Balochistan is the country's largest province, with nearly 44 percent of its surface area and a thinly dispersed population of around 8.5 million. The present provincial government need to formulate a new strategy for development of Balochistan on fast track basis.

The issues related to the development are complicated and demand realistic assessment for their solution. Prevailing socio-economic conditions demand a new development strategy for the ever-neglected province, which is mired in widespread poverty. The government should formulate a strategy realizing the sense of deprivation, frustration and alienation, which is further fueling unrest in Balochistan.

Firstly, the government should take steps to improve law and order, strengthen the enabling environment for the private sector and improving the management of natural resources. The government's new strategy should focus on the full empowerment of the people of Balochistan. People must be recognized as stakeholders in the decision-making process and their interests must be placed at the top of the list of priorities.

The key areas need to be focused in the new strategy include poverty alleviation, human development, agriculture and water development.

The new development strategy should resolve basic issues such as poverty, unemployment and lack of basic amenities through its.

It should identify engendering growth, managing scarce water resources, focusing on governance reforms, improving human development and addressing vulnerability to shocks as key areas needed to be addressed seriously in order to tackle various issues including poverty. Poverty in the province is a consequence of several factors, including geography and low human capital. Many of these factors increase the cost of providing social services in Balochistan.

The backwardness and poverty should be explicitly incorporated in the allocation of shared transfers, and they should be more comprehensively measured through an index that uses multiple indicators. These may be broadly categorized as socioeconomic and demographic indicators related to income and wealth, housing, transport and communication, education, health, gender equality, etc. for example, some of the indicators used in the human development index would be relevant.

Human development indicators needs to be improved in Balochistan. The challenges or hurdles are the predominantly patriarchal social structures and gender equity. The...

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