Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Political Economy of Development: A Critical Assessment of Balochistan, Pakistan

Ahmed, Manzoor and Baloch, Akhtar (2017): The Political Economy of Development: A Critical Assessment of Balochistan, Pakistan. Published in: International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences , Vol. 7, No. 6 (10 August 2017): pp. 1026-1045.

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This study aims at examining the political economy of the province of Balochistan, Pakistan and the underlying causes of social and economic under-development of the province. After presenting a brief and critical account on the historical development of the people of Balochistan, the paper argues that the province of Balochistan notwithstanding having a huge and resourceful land has failed to keep the pace of socio-economic development and modernity with other fellow provinces in the federation of Pakistan. After the independence of Pakistan and the formation of Balochistan as a province of, the people of Balochistan because of their political disorganization and segregation and economic backwardness failed to exert them within the political economy realm of Pakistan in order to grab their due resource share. The saga of economic and social backwardness of Balochistan province is a multifaceted puzzle. A section of the Balochistan political elite and scholars believe that the centralist nature of Pakistani federation is such that small nationalities like the Baloch and Pashtoon would find it hard to get their due share within the federation. That is because, the resource distribution and representation to both elected bodies and state institutions are based upon population, and Balochistan in spite of having 44% of Pakistan territory accommodates only 5% of country’s total population, whereas, another section is in the view that the nature of geo-economics and historical perspective of the province hinder the pace of economic development. The paper also touches the geostrategic importance of Balochistan and underlines its economic difficulty in terms of the dearth of human resources, physical infrastructure, economic autonomy, and productivity among others.

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