Demographic Changes in Gwadar and CPEC in Baluch’s Perspective

Balochistan_Map

Kambar Baluch 

Demographic change is considered as a political change in the world, because demography in a region can increase and decrease the issues of a society. If demographic change is handled logically, positive consequences can be expected, if not, then we cannot neglect the negative impacts of it. We will discuss the key factors of demographic changes in Gwadar.

 

Administratively, Gwadar is a district of occupied Baluchistan’s Makran division. The independent state of Baluchistan was occupied in March 27, 1948 by the state of Pakistan through its military power. Before March 27, Baluchistan was an independent state in South Asia. Baluch are struggling for the regain of their independence from Pakistan since the occupation of Baluchistan.

 

Since then, the state of Pakistan is exploiting the natural resources of Baluchistan. Pakistan is using gas of Sui, gold and copper of Reko Dik and Saindak of Chagi, coal mines of Bolan, marble of Khuzdar and now the deep sea port of Gwadar.

 

The state had willingly kept Baluchistan underdeveloped and backward as its colony and still now the signs of colonization can be seen easily. The purpose of backwardness is to make Baluch nation unable to be in a position for claiming the regain of their independence. Pakistan had been using majority of tribal chiefs of Baluchistan as a force for keeping its occupation strong, and today the same policy of the state is active. Those tribal chiefs were the effective agents of Pakistan. Today, Pakistan has brought majority of those tribal chiefs in politics of Baluchistan in order to use them more effectively at a large scale.

 

Since occupation, the state has kept Baluch at a distance to education; even today, the condition of Baluchistan’s education itself speaks its worst status. Among all fundamental human rights, the condition of health sector is also the worst. Unavailability of basic facilities of life is preplanned by Pakistan. The state never wants a single power to ask the regain of independence of Baluchistan.

 

The state had been using the natural resources of Baluchistan without the willingness of Baluch nation. Similarly, state is using the deep sea port of Baluch nation without its willingness.

 

In the era of General Pervez Musharraf, the Gwadar deep seaport was given to china in 2003 for 40 years. Musharraf had a plan to bring two billion non-Baluch in Gwadar. He made Merani Dam for reservation of soft water for two billion settlers in Gwadar. He cultivated the area of Dasht (suburb area of Gwadar) for the production of vegetable and nutrition of non-Baluch population in Gwadar. Right after the agreement, China started construction work in Gwadar port, but Baluch freedom fighters attacked seven Chinese engineer in Hub and Gwadar. After that attack, China could not continue its project due to strong independence movement of Baluchistan.

 

China restarted its project of Gwadar port in the era of Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) in February 2013. China signed an agreement of $46 billion investment in Gwadar Port with Pakistan.

 

China is world’s second biggest economic power. It has multiple economic -projects worldwide. ‘Made in China 2025’ is one of them. China aims to spread this project globally. For the implementation of this project, China is working on the plan of making this dream come true.

 

China is connecting itself with two-third of the world’s population and two-third of known energy services via two connectivity media; roads and maritime routes.

 

For road and maritime connectivity, China is working on the project of One Built One Road (OBOR). The OBOR project is also known as the Silk Road. The route of Silk Road begins from China, crosses Central Asian states through Iran and Turkey, then via Ukraine to Moscow onto Germany, Portugal and Italy. From Italy it bridges to Greece, down to Lebanon into Ethiopia and Kenya through maritime routes, crossing the Ocean through Sari Lanka and Malaysia and looping back to China.

 

In the region of South Asia, China has to use Gwadar Port as a corridor of its OBOR project in order to connect China in that chain of global roads and maritime routes.

 

The Gwadar to Kashgar Corridor is one of the three routes which connect the land route to maritime routes. Geographically, Gwadar Port is near Strait of Hormuz which is the shortest route for China from Gwadar seaport to Central Asia.

 

China has already invested $150 million on Gwadar port. Pakistan has given the land of 5,000 acres to China for establishment of Gwadar airport. The investment on Gwadar Airport is $230 million. $1 billion is allocated for development projects of Gwadar. Pakistan has allocated the land of 2,282 acres to China for special economic zones in Gwadar. Gwadar East-bay was that portion of the port where ships used to anchor and local fishermen used to use this piece of port for selling their fishes, but now the East-bay is being used for the Gwadar Port where roads are being constructed and the small fishing business of the local fishermen is also destructed. China has allocated $800 million for Gwadar Eastbay.

 

In other simple words, China is in evergreen partnership with Pakistan in the exploitation of Baluch Ocean, port and land. In fact, China wants to use Gwadar as a military base because Strait of Hormuz, which is few kilometers away from Gwadar, is the corridor of transportation of world’s 40% oil. If Gwadar would become military base of China, then it can easily control this corridor. In case of war with the West, China can block this route by creating energy crises for the world because oil is the basic fuel of a war. China itself needs fuel for its expansionist ambitions. In that case, Gwadar can be a strong military base for China. If China would take the control of Gwadar, then it can harm the influence of U.S. if China controls Gwadar, then it can easily monitor the countries of the surrounding regions, and can easily fight with the surrounding countries in case of war. Despite that, China has recently deployed its two War-Ship at its Gwadar military base for the protection of Gwadar port.

 

As China is the second economic power, similarly India is the sixth economic power. India and China both are expanding and strengthening their military powers and China is attempting to put India in siege by its military bases. In case of war with India, China intends to attack Indian military bases and ports from Gwadar within minutes. China is in conflict with India due to Chinese involvement of Indian Territory, Himachal Pradesh. Both the countries went into war due to this conflict in 1965, and those border disputes aren’t resolved yet. On the basis of these issues, China is putting India in its siege, and Gwadar can be an important and strong strategic military base for China.

 

Middle East, the center of war today, is an important region for the world powers due to its oil rich resources. If China would take Gwadar Port in its control and would establish a military base here, then China can increase its influence on Middle East. Whosesoever would have its influence in Middle East, then that power will be a great beneficiary. As China is a boost up power and is the second economic power and is boosting its military for its influence on Middle East. If Gwadar would be its military base, then it can increase its influence on this region.

 

The portion of OBOR in Pakistan is named as China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The CPEC is the main factor of demographic changes in Gwadar, because CPEC is not only a road project. The CPEC contains building of roads, railway tracks and energy zones. Currently, Gwadar is in focus of national and international business for investment. The Gwadar has population of approximately 200,000. The small population of Gwadar can easily be converted into minority by the transformation of millions of non-Baluch to Gwadar.

 

Pakistan is using different policies for the displacement of residents of Gwadar. Among those policies, the shortage of soft water is one of them. Currently, the residents of Gwadar are suffering from the shortage of soft water, which has badly affected the daily lives of people there. People of Gwadar are issued entry pass for entrance in Gwadar. There are reports that Pakistan wishes to keep Gwadar Port in fence and there are also current reports about the deployment of Chinese Army at Gwadar Port.

 

One another policy of Pakistan is to make people of Gwadar landless. The state has activated its machinery of estate business in Gwadar. The estate builders are engaged in buying and selling land to non-Baluch. When people of Gwadar will not hold property, they will not be able to stay in Gwadar, because the state is making Gwadar an expensive city where poor people will be unable to live.

 

Pakistan is using its all state machineries in order to eradicate Baluch from Gwadar. Among those state machineries, Pakistani media, military, political parties, judiciary and all other institutions are involved.

 

Media is involved in one way reporting of Baluchistan case. Pakistani establishment (Pakistan Army) controls Pakistani media, which does not report the ongoing political issues of Baluchistan. Pakistan is using its military for the safeguard of CPEC from Baluch freedom fighters. Pakistani military along with its inter-services Intelligence (ISI) has been given free hand in Baluchistan. The security agencies of Pakistan are doing deadly operations in Gwadar and its surrounding areas like Pasni, Dasht and each region where CPEC route passes. The CPEC route starts from Gwadar, moves to Turbat (Kech), Hushab, Panjgoor, Basima, Khuzdar and few other alternative routes are also present in plan or the passage of CPEC route towards Quetta.

 

The Pakistan Army has issued many statements that CPEC would be completed at any cost. After those statements, the Pakistan military started deadly operations in those areas where CPEC route passes. The army is conducting operations in Gwadar and its surrounding areas of Pasni, Dasht, and areas of CPEC route Turbat, Hushab, Panjgoor, Besima, Khuzdar, Awaran and Kalat. In military operations numbers of Baloch children, women, students, teachers, advocates, poets, singers, doctors, intellectuals and people from all walks of life have been kidnapped and killed, and their bullet riddled bodies are being recovered and their homes have been looted and put on fire. During operations, military shows its barbarism like burning homes of people, their standing corps, looting their jewelry, cars, motorcycles and cash money. The military is engaged in its policy of Baluch genocide in entire Baluchistan.

 

Currently, a Special Security Division (SSD) of 17,177 personnel of Pakistan Army is deployed for the protection of CPEC routes and Chinese Engineers. The Pakistani media doeesn’t broadcast news related to ongoing operations of army in Baluchistan. Army operations are aimed to crush the ongoing independence movement in Baluchistan. Army has conducted many operations in Bolan, Mach, Dera Bugti, Naseer Abad, Kharan, Noshki, Chagi, Mastung, Awaran, Panjgur, Kech ,Kohlu and other areas of Baluchistan.

 

The plan to put all areas of Gwadar, Awaran, Kech and Panjgoor in military siege is in the top priority of the Pakistan government and army. The Frontier Corps (FC) has been divided into two parts in January 2017. The Pakistan Army is going to establish the second FC headquarters in Turbat, Kech, which will be under an IG command. Despite this, the entire area of Gwadar, the center of CPEC, has been converted into an army zone. Apart from the deployment of FC, Coast Guards and Pakistan Navy, 10,000 personnel of regular army have been deployed under the command of a brigadier in first phase in Gwadar.

 

According to the local administration of Kech, Pakistan Army will use land of 50,000 acres from D.Baloch to Merani Dam (areas of Turbat) for the establishment of FC headquarters. Pakistan army wishes to establish an army camp in Luri-e-Jangjah, a mountainous area of Dasht, which is adjacent to Merani Dam.

 

The Pakistan Navy Camp, adjacent to Turbat Airport, was established in 2016 (the fact is that Turbat doesn’t possess any ocean), and it has been fully enabled this year. Along with that, one other navy camp, comprises land of approximately 30 to 40,000 acres, was established in Dasth Kunchatti by occupying the land of locals of the area.

Advertisements of allocation of nearly 1,000 acres land of the northern area of Tehsel Turbat, Kallagh Sohrani to Ghenna, for military use of Pakistan Army, have been given in newspapers on the behalf of the Deputy Commissioner Kech. The army is already present in Talaar and D.Baloch.

 

On the other hand, there is no any area saved from the state barbarism of Pakistan. There are a great number of internally displaced people who are affected from the operations of army. There are approximately 400,000 internally displaced people (IDP) at CPEC route in Baluchistan.  The state claims these common people as anti-state elements. The Human Rights Commission Pakistan (HRCP) and Asian Human Rights Organization shared their reports of human rights violation by Pakistan in Baluchistan.

 

Pakistan and China consider CPEC as the ‘Game Changer’ corridor in South Asia. Both the countries are definitely right, they are changing the demography of Gwadar, devastating Baluchistan, eliminating Baluch nation along with its culture, language and civilization. Pakistan only needs natural resources of Baluch nation in order to build Punjab province and to strengthen its occupation.

 

The future of CPEC is a corridor without Baluch nation in Baluchistan. If Baluch nation does not struggle for the independence of Baluchistan, then their future will be dark, destructed and they will be slave forever like red Indians. The Baluch nation has to accept that their future is in risk. The independence movement of Baluchistan demands struggle on scientific basis and participation of people from all walks of life.

 

The operations of army are violating human rights in Baluchistan every day. The state is busy in Baluch genocide and no one in the world dares to make Pakistan accountable about its such barbarism in Baluchistan.

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