The absence of Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani on the 8th meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee to be held in China today marks the tensions between the federal and the province. Balochistan has had a long history of impoverishment and lack of developmental vision and the promise of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a source of reliance for the people because this would mean economic prosperity. However, many Baloch politicians are complaining about the non-compliance of promises in terms of developmental projects which would be incorporated as a result of the CPEC.

The federal government needs to play a part in making amends in terms of this particular development. It is very important for the economic stability of the country that the province of Balochistan is on the same page and the people no longer feel alienated and marginalised by the system at large. The delegation which left for China on Monday led by led by Federal Minister for Plann­ing and Development Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar should have taken the Baloch counterparts on board because the route through which CPEC passes must offer the utmost economic stability.

According to the on-ground situation, so far only four projects have been highlighted for Balochistan as a result of CPEC. This translates into misinformation for many who were counting on a wave of economic and developmental activity in the region to give the society a boost. A region plagued by issues of terrorism needs stability and economic activity. Without a developmental vision for the region, people will only be further alienated. CPEC is a great opportunity to bridge the gap between the federal and the province as a result of a political solution. The federal government should be alerted by this action.

A way forward at this point is reaching out instead of alienating the provinces. The federal government needs as much support as it can from the provinces especially its coalition partners. With the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) planning mass mobility and organisation of their workers to organise political gatherings against the current government, it is important that the ruling party has the support of its coalition parties. The PPP has already reached out to the Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q) and the Balochistan National Party (BNP) and if PTI wants to avoid confrontation then making amends should be on the cards.