A Central Executive Committee member of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) on Thursday called on unit secretaries, deputy secretaries and councillors to stage a protest in front of the Quetta Press Club on April 16 against the recent deal reached between Pakistan and the Barrick Gold mining company on a framework that provides for the development of Reko Diq mine in Balochistan.
He said that the protest will be aimed at raising voice against what he said was the exploitation of the natural resources in Balochistan.
“The resources of Balochistan are a symbol of our identity, survival and existence. The history bears witness to the fact that the Baloch people were never taken onboard on any development scheme in the province,” he claimed.
Citing as examples the discovery of gas in 1953 from Sui, Chamalang Quetta Project, Saindak Project, Hub Power Project, Gwadar Mega Project (China Pakistan Economic Corridor), he said that the Baloch have never benefitted from such development schemes.
“The consent of the Baloch nation was never sought in these projects,” the BNP-M leader said. “It had been clearly mentioned in the 18th amendment of the constitution that the local masses would be given preference in development projects in any province,” he said, adding that Balochistan was facing a myriad of issues and the basic reason was that rulers did not take into confidence the local people on these projects.