CHIEF Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif has done well to double the quota of students belonging to Balochistan. It was also good to know that Chief Minister Aslam Raisani, who makes no bones about his dissatisfaction with the leaders for neglecting Balochistan, was present on the occasion and thanked Mian Shahbaz for his gesture of goodwill towards Baloch students. This is, by all means, quite an improvement over the stance of the federal government, which has consistently failed to deliver on its promises. It is a crying shame that the announcement of the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package turned out to be nothing but hot air. By contrast, this step by the CM Punjab will go a long way in removing the prevailing sense of marginalisation in the province, especially the feeling of alienation among the youth. It is good to know that more doors have been opened for Baloch students wishing to get quality education from premier institutions in Punjab. Of all the provinces, Balochistan has the lowest literacy rate. Another important factor is that given the dearth of elite education institutions in Balochistan, the Baloch youth are at a disadvantage when it comes to finding decent jobs. But with the doubling of their quota in Punjab, it can be hoped that they would avail themselves of the opportunity to get better education and secure respectable jobs. There is no doubt that the ongoing conflagration in the province needs a strong dose of economic development but, at the same time, the role of education in stabilising the situation cannot be underestimated. There is no disputing Mian Shahbazs statement that the students studying in Punjab will help end the misunderstanding between the two provinces. Not only that. This inter-provincial harmony would, in the long term, strengthen the federation. While Punjabs commitment to help look after the socio-economic plight of Balochistan is welcome, the federal government needs to follow up on its words with definite moves.