Caught up in terrorism, political scandal, murder and death, the state and the media forget that millions that are struggling for food, shelter and education. While many are dying because of political conspiracy, the majority is dying because it can’t make ends meet. The number of government-run primary, middle and high schools has reached around 13,000 with 1.3 million girls and boys students. Yet 1.7 million children are out of school, despite government’s recent campaign. Some estimates even put the figure at over 2 million. With the state of education in ruins in Balochistan, the youth will never grow up to get the best jobs and posts, further escalating the on-going crisis of resource allocation and the feeling of economic and political isolation.

It is easy to have discussions over terrorism and security. It is easy for politicians to make demands for more policing, less harassment… but it is hard to come up with plans to offer universal healthcare and education. The governments, federal and provincial, have been lazy. There is no other way to put it. Just because the state in mired in a crisis of terrorism, does not mean that it gives up paying attention to other sectors. While the media may well run with the popular story, one would think that those in government would be less fickle and the ministers with health and education portfolios would be keeping their focus. One of the clearest examples of lazy governances is the delay in census. The government has no accurate data about the population of Balochistan, unemployment, and poverty, etc., to be able to make adequate policies.

About 33.16 million acres of land in Balochistan (39% of the province) is suitable for agriculture. This potential is untapped due to water scarcity. Many in Balochistan believe that these are the real problems including even Baloch dissidents who view Pakistan as a centralized state, which does not want to provide provincial autonomy. Grievances almost always relate to getting a bigger share in the natural resources and less attention paid to heath, education and communication infrastructure. These problems are similar to what Sindh and KPK have faced, yet these issues get lost when the Balochi people are considered only as separatists, anti-state, and foreign-funded terrorists. There has to be a line dividing the two. The ‘State vs Balochistan’ situation will never improve if children are going hungry and youth is unemployed. Jobs and economic investment is the answer, even of it is hard to do with the current political climate.