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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Interview of Nawab Ghous Baksh Barozai, Ex-Chief Minister of Baluchistan By Ghulam Murtaza

Baluchistan is a Pakistan largest and destitute province divided mainly in Pashtuns and Baloch population. Its politics is very tricky which mainly dominated by Sardar and Nawabs. They have a strong political role and influence in the province enriched with natural resources.

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Nawab Ghaus Bakhsh Barozai

It has now been attained great significance due to Chinses involvement, its sandy beaches, deep seaport Gwadar, and reservoirs of gold, platinum, copper and much more. It’s the port for which a superpower got into pieces. All the anti and pro forces are in proxy conflicts in the region for their vested interests.

Baluchistan has become now the backbone not only of Pakistan but an undeniable need of China to accomplish its dream to rule the world’s economy with trade through OBOR. We have had a sitting with its ex-chief minister, a renowned intellectual, politician and chief of Barozai tribe to discuss the issues of Baluchistan and CPEC.

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Q 1- Thank you very much for allowing me to meet you at Karachi to discuss the issues of your province. Although our talk will centre the CPEC, we, whoever, need to understand the dynamics of the Baluchistan to comprehend the CPEC’s economic and strategic dynamics. How do you see the Baluchistan’s Political and local dynamics, law and order situation? 

A. The situation of Baluchistan has always been remaining unsettled since independence. Unfortunately, it has never been focused by the federal government and local political stalwarts leaving the common people to suffer from. Some subsequent events also added to the already aversion found in the people. After grounding of OBOR, the Baluchistan has become the need of the emerging power and its possible block. Thank God things getting better for which I did a lot during my tenure. I did what was possible in that short tenure. The law and order situation is much better than before and hopefully, the coming years will behold the remarkable addition.

Q 2. What are the regional politics and its repercussions on Pakistan?

A. Everyone is a friend of their own interests in international politics. It’s to us how we could develop the economic interest of our bordering countries including Iran and Afghanistan to get them on board. Our port is a desperate need of landlocked Afghanistan. The relations with Iran, although faced many ups and downs in the past, are going to be harmonious again. The withdrawal of India from the Chahbahar port is a very good indicator for us to bracket Iran with CPEC. The overall political situation is in favour of Pakistan which will augment the mega OBOR project.  

Q 3 It is also speculated that the hierarchy of preferences between establishment and govt is vice versa. Govt eyes Gwadar with economic interest first and strategic second, whereas the establishment strategic preference is at a top. How do you comment on this speculation? 

A 3 Its quite natural every institution holds the priority, therefore the army is. Strategic policies ensure economic interests; especially for a country like Pakistan. However, the balance must be maintained in formulating policies.

Q 4 Sir, coming to the core what are the hurdles to CPEC?

A 4 I think confidence-building and empowerment of local people and better relations with the neighbouring countries is a must. Law and order further need to be improved. Of course a smooth and trustful relations with our major partner is also essential.

Q 5 Is the pace of work of CPEC not slower than the expectations?

A 5 We should not forget we are living in a politically complex situation and country. Such hurdles are quite natural keeping the potential of CPEC in view. However, a late is better than never, things are on the right path.

Q 6 Has new government had working relationship gaps with China or everything is fine with?

Every Govt has its own priorities. Unfortunately, we lack in the continuity of policies and predecessors are always analyzed critically by their opponents. However, international agreements are between states and not between persons; and there are guarantors too.

Q7 Do you see Pakistan can get out of the grey list?

A 7 I am not sure it will be settled down soon. There are some international and national hurdles behind. The demands are not met with so far, although the advancement continues. We have also need to have some measures at our level.

Q 8 What is the future of CPEC?

A 8 CPEC looks bound to happen now. It’s a need of the region as well to meet the global needs. It’s also a big strategic need for Pakistan in the ever-changing scenario of the balance of power of the world. The pace of CPEC, although, a bit slow, but is in the right direction which can lift not only Pakistan but Baluchistan too. I emphasize to pay equal attention to other ignored areas of Baluchistan too like Gwadar. 

Thank you very much for your valuable time and great insight.

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