By Raja G Mujtaba
Balochistan is the angry brother of the family; never contented and never satisfied. To some extent their grievances are genuine and some have been their own creation. Had they not created their own problems through mismanagement and corruption, the pace of development would have been far greater than what it is today. The Baloch Sardars always had their own priorities and they utilized the funds according to their personal motives. This resulted in total alienation of the ordinary Baloch from the mainstream of socio-economic development; hence poverty and misery became their plight.
Whenever, the federal governments in the past wanted to assert themselves to bring development to the common Balochi, the Sardars rebelled and created problems. Sardars have got used to such briberies since the British Raj and they continued this practice till now. Whenever the Sardars were bypassed or sidelined, the development was brought to the common people of the province but the resistance was so stiff that at times the governments at the center ignored what the Sardars were doing.
In the wake of Sardars resistance, the only significant development came through military garrisons. The mainstay of Quetta has been the Command and Staff College and School of Infantry and Tactics and an airbase at Samungli. The entire economy of Quetta business and trading community was dependent on these military establishments.
Pakistan Air Force, besides regular air bases at Samungli and Jacobabad has a satellite base at Pasni that can be converted into a regular operational base. Likewise the controversial Shamsi Air Base that has recently been vacated by the US may also be converted into an operational airbase for joint operations by the Army and the PAF.
Later a Corps HQ was established in Quetta as Southern Command that comprises of couple of divisions and Independent Brigade Groups spread in the province. Presence of military garrisons within the interior of Balochistan is contributing to the local economy. This presence has also motivated the local Baloch youth to join the Armed Forces of Pakistan.
The purpose of mentioning these garrisons and bases is that they are playing an important role in the development of the local economy by virtue of which, the Balochies are benefiting to improve their economic health.
Pakistan Navy has been late to move into Balochistan for certain obvious reasons. But now their operation on Makran coast is going to be a major activity. They have dotted the Makran coast with their Naval installations at numerous places. Naval aviation is also likely to move out of Karachi to some place close to Makran coast.
I have visited the Makran coast and seen the contributions and impact of Pakistan Navy that it has brought in the life style of the local people. Who were henceforth fearful of the navy now take it as a blessing that has brought to them so many civic amenities along with health, education and job opportunities.
Recently, Admiral M Sandila, the Chief of Naval Staff visited Gawadar and from there announced a massive social uplift package for the Balochi people. The data that was gathered is produced in its complete form, by eliminating any part of it would not have been fair.
1. Establishment of PNR & SC Gwadar In order to enhance representation, in particular for the youth hailing from Baluchistan, PN Recruitment & Selection Centre (PNR&SC) at Gwadar has been established, in addition to PNR & SC Quetta which will start functioning in next two months. In the backdrop of this, it is envisaged that recruitment of candidates from coastal and adjoining areas i.e Ormara, Pasni, Gwadar, Turbat and Jiwani will increase substantially.
2. Recruitment Campaigns for Baluch Pakistan Navy undertook vigorous recruitment campaign in Baluchistan since the year 2007 to create awareness amongst the people. As a result, large number of candidates appeared for the qualifying test, out of which 278 were selected out of which 147 joined Pakistan Navy in sailors category.
3. During the year 2011, 03 candidates have joined Pakistan Naval Academy (02 as cadets & 01 as commissioned officer through SSC entry). In addition, recruitment for PN Cadets & Short Service Commission (SSC) for 2012-A batch is in progress. Total of 09 & 19 candidates for PN Cadets and SSC terms respectively have been selected for appearing at ISSB. Subject to qualifying ISSB, the individuals will be selected for induction in Pakistan Navy for the term scheduled to commence in Jul 12.
4. N Cadet Scheme for Baluch N Cadet scheme is being reintroduced (as a welfare scheme) exclusively for candidates hailing from Baluchistan who have passed 7th class. Each year 20 candidates will be selected and given admission in selected Cadet Colleges for a period of 5 years to complete their studies till FSc on Govt charges. Subsequently, these candidates will appear before ISSB; those recommended will join Pakistan Naval Academy as PN cadets.
5. Short Service Commission (SSC) for Baluch Induction of talented and bright Baluch youth in PN through Short Service Commission (SSC) who have completed their education till Graduation (with any combination of subjects) has been approved. These candidates will be inducted without ISSB in Pakistan Navy.
Special Relaxations for Baluch To facilitate the candidates and enhance intake from Baluchistan, following special/exclusive relaxations have been approved for ethnic Baluch’s:
a. Relaxation in Sailors Category
(1) 20% in SSC marks for ethnic Baluch.
(2) Two years in upper age limit.
(3) Substantial number of seats have been reserved for province of Baluchistan in every batch of sailors.
b. Relaxation in PN Cadet Term
(1) 10% relaxation in FSc marks (i.e, 50% marks for Baluch candidates instead of 60% applicable for others).
(2) 10% marks waiver in entrance test (35% marks for Baluch candidates instead of 45% applicable for others).
(3) This year special relaxation has been given to induct 01 x Baluch candidate in PN Cadet Term 2011-B who has joined Pakistan Naval Academy at Karachi on 08 Jan 12.
c. Relaxation in SSC Course
(1) 10% marks relaxation in respective subject qualification applicable to all SSC branches.
(2). 10% marks waiver in entrance test (35% marks for Baluch candidates instead of 45% applicable for others).
d. Other Measures for Baluch
(1) ISSB facilities (tests/interviews) are being provided for candidates of Baluchistan at Quetta for officer’s induction.
(2) A close liaison is being maintained with concerned authorities of province while carrying out Mobile Recruitment in the province. A team headed by Officer-In-Charge (O I/C) PN Recruitment and Selection Centre Karachi has visited Gwadar, Turbat, Pasni and Ormara from 12 to 17 Dec 11. Previously, Mobile Recruitment was conducted from 25 to 30 Jul 11, 14 to 19 Mar 11 and 25 to 30 Oct 10. The next Mobile Recruitment is planned in the month of April 2012.
PN EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES & PROJECTS AT BALUCHISTAN
1.Bahria Model School Gwadar. Bahria Model School Gwadar (from Mont (Beg) class to IV), established in March 2010, is providing quality education to the local children at nominal fee with pick and drop facilities. At present, 158 students are studying in the school. Out of 158 students, 152 are local and 6 are Naval wards. A grant of Rs. 0.6 M (Approx) is being provided to the school on annual basis to meet the recurring expenditure.
2. Bahria Model School Ormara Bahria Model School Ormara (from Mont (Beg) class to VII), was established in 2004. At present, 331 students are studying in the school. Out of which 306 are local and 25 are Naval wards. A grant of Rs. 2.0 M has been provided to Bahria School Ormara for purchase lab equipment and books to meet the requirements of Federal and Quetta boards for affiliation. Additionally, a grant of Rs. 1.0 M (Approx) is also being provided to the school on annual basis to meet recurring expenditures and staff salaries.
3. Patronage of Govt Schools at Ormara Govt Boys High School Ormara, Girls High School Ormara, Govt Middle School for Boys Ormara are being look after by PN and necessary assistance like provision of teachers, furniture, stationary items and maintenance of school is being provided to these institutions on ’as and when required’ basis. A Naval Officer of the rank of the Lt Cdr is also appointed as principal Govt High School Ormara.
4. Admission of Baluchi students to Bahria Model Schools at Karachi. Admission of Baluchi students of coastal areas to Bahria Model Schools at Karachi is another major initiative of PN. In this regards, 19 Baluchi students (10 in class VIII & 09 in class IX) have already joined PN Model School at Sabir SRE, Karachi. The selection of the third group of 10-15 students for the next academic session is under process. Under this scheme, all facilities including education, boarding, lodging etc are being provided free of cost and on successfully qualifying SSC exam, these students will have the option to join PN as sailors.
5. Reserved seats for Baluchi students in Bahria University. One seat each in MBA and BBA programmes at Bahria University, Karachi campus for the youth of Baluchistan, has been reserved for the children of local residents of the coastal areas of Baluchistan. The nominated students are exempted from payment of tuition fee and allied charges, however, cost of living is to be arranged by the students themselves.
6. Reserved seats at Cadet College Petaro. At Cadet College Petaro (CCP), functioning under auspices of PN, two seats have been allocated to students from the coastal areas of Baluchistan and one seat for students from Dera Bugti. Presently 27 students from Baluchistan, including 9 admitted with current academic year, are studying at Cadet College Petaro.
7. Establishment of Cadet College Ormara. A mega project of establishment of Cadet College Ormara has been initiated at the cost of Rs.601.0 M. NHQ accorded in principle approval of the project. Upon functioning of the college, 50% seats will be reserved for Baluch candidates (N-Cadets) who will join the college in class VIII and on successful completion of F.Sc studies and recommendations of ISSB, they will join PN as regular cadets. The recurring expenditure of the project is Rs.21.5 M p.a.
8. PN Model School Ormara. The school is under construction at the cost of Rs.197.576 M and will tentatively be completed by December 2012. The level of the school is SSC and will be enhanced to HSSC level. PN will provide all facilities to the school. The school will provide better educational opportunities to the local populace.
Seeing what Pakistan Navy is contributing for the uplift of Balochistan and its people is a mega effort especially when one sees the size and budgetary constraints of the Navy. It can be said with certainty that Pakistan Army and Air Force will not lag behind in this noble cause. Although Pakistan Army has already contributed substantially but it has the capacity to provide more.