“The history of political reforms for Balochistan is connected with the history of the struggle of the Muslims for freedom.”
- Mr. Jinnah / Quaid-e-Azam
- Speech: New Era of Progress for Baluchistan
- Context: Speech at Sibi Durbar
The struggle of the Muslims for freedom in India was not an end in of itself but we strived for it to achieve a new nation where we can be masters of our own destiny so that we can usher in an era of rapid economic and social progress.
Balochistan cannot achieve social and economic progress without political reforms. For this reason -- the political reforms for Balochistan are connected to our shared historic freedom struggle.
The guiding principle in political reforms for Balochistan shall be to achieve maximum local autonomy with the sole intent to empower the hands of those who are:
Loyal to the State of Pakistan
Acutely aware of the local needs, hopes and aspirations (this makes them best suited to design policy for progress)
Educated and intellectually competent to be able to take Balochistan to newer heights
This principle will translate in the following ways:
The election process is made fair and accurate:
Pakistan will do this by leveraging the latest technology that minimizes human intervention, self-identifies discrepancies and transparently reports anonymized back-end raw data along with the front-end aggregate results to the public. The election process will be decentralized and distributed across thousands of computers to ensure complete transparency.
It is true that the military has impeded Pakistan’s democratic progress --- but far more important is reforming the actual system through which votes are registered and counted. Currently, it’s glaring inefficiencies invite exploitation from military, nepotistic political parties and separatist elements.
By doing so, we will achieve the following:
Eradication of Military rigging: In 2002, the military rigged the elections and reinvigorated its long-standing alliance with the region’s mullahs, helping the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) coalition of religious Islamic parties to gain power in Balochistan. The citizens of Pakistan reject this illegitimate and undemocratic interference for any strategic or non-strategic purposes.
Eradication of Political rigging: At the provincial level, the nationalist parties decided to boycott the 2008 elections because of the killing of Akbar Bugti. That opened the way for a massive rigging of the poll. The corrections of the electoral rolls by the Electoral Commission of Pakistan in September 2011 revealed that 65 percent of Baloch voters were fake in the 2008 election. Soon, all political parties represented in the assembly and close to the security establishment, despite being in conflict with each other in other parts of the country, suddenly became bedfellows in a government that had no opposition worth the name and therefore no control over the way the provincial government was spending public money. All members of the provincial assembly except one were made ministers, opening the way for corruption on an unprecedented scale in the province and annihilating all federal government efforts to end the crisis.
Rejection of nationalist-separatists:
Nationalist-separatists must be rejected because supporting them would inevitably lead to a military response and use-of-force by the security establishment. It is time to change the course of trajectory from violence to peace.
Having said that - the citizens of Pakistan know that the threat of force can never be a good motivator as we are a proud and resilient people who would rather die than be silenced.
We must totally reject separatist elements because of our unifying history of freedom struggle. Balochistan has contributed in no smaller measure than our brethren of other provinces of Pakistan towards the achievement of our goal.
What shall we make of our connected history of the freedom struggle where we fought shoulder-to-shoulder to achieve Pakistan? Are the past sacrifices to be in vain? Is our history not an undeniable proof of our one nationality?
Let’s consolidate all national forces and achieve national unity to face any power and achieve our shared goal of Balochistan’s progress. That’s how we will win and influence the policy of misguided power centres of Pakistan. All other paths will lead to chaos.
Support the Intellectual Middle-Class:
The non-tribal and non-separatist middle class of Balochistan are its true guardians and protectors. We must strengthen their hands and grant them authorities to pave the way for unequalled provincial autonomy.
Through these political reforms we will empower the people of Balochistan who should be the masters of their own destiny.
The purpose of these political reforms is to address the socio-economic grievances and serve as a catalyst for rapid and accelerated economic and social progress. Everything can be achieved by force of character and sheer determination and with this undaunted spirit we shall build up Balochistan.
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