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China Has Designs on Balochistan

Mohammad Akhtar Mengal

By Mohammad Akhtar Mengal

Statement by Akhtar Mengal and full South Asia News report: view at youtube.com

"Balochistan is situated at such a location that you can’t ignore its geo-political significance. China and other superpowers including Pakistan are using it for defence related purposes and mining its resources. Pakistan and its authorities have some sympathy – not for the Baloch people but for the land, its resources and its geo-political value."

Balochistan, December 27: Pakistani province Balochistan is rich in minerals, oil and natural gas and its location gives it great strategic importance. Pakistan's close ally and neighbour, China is aware of this fact. In 2002, to gain a strategic foothold in the Persian Gulf region, China contributed over 300 million USD for the construction of Gwadar deep-sea port and road-link in Balochistan. The project was completed at a total cost of 1.16 billion USD. During the recent visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Pakistan sought increased Chinese involvement in the operation of a strategic port run by Singapore's state-owned PSA International LTD. Pakistan has also given access to Chinese companies to explore mines and minerals in Balochistan. Chinese firms have already poured in at least 15 billion USD in various projects that include an oil refinery, copper and zinc mines and ports. However, this poses a threat to the future of Baloch people.

Akhtar Mengal's statement

"Balochistan is situated at such a location that you can’t ignore its geo-political significance. China and other superpowers including Pakistan are using it for defence related purposes and mining its resources. Pakistan and its authorities have some sympathy – not for the Baloch people but for the land, its resources and its geo-political value."

"None of the representatives from Balochsitan were taken into confidence. I don’t know as who is there in the provincial assembly, but they have ignored those who are struggling for rights of the Baloch people. Agreements between Pakistan government and Chinese government are not acceptable to the people of Balochistan. Right now, a military operation is going on in Balocistan, the fifth in a row, and such activities in the name of development are going to fuel the fire further."

Akhtar Mengal is president of the Balochistan National Party and a former chief minister of Balochistan. He can be reached at akhtarmengal@hotmail.com


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