I am not a political analyst or an expert in current affairs. I am just a retired government official who is extremely disturbed by the situation in our northern and western provinces. We know Balochistan is a province teeming with natural resources having huge oil and gas reservoirs, massive quantities of gold, silver, chromium, copper and other minerals. The development of Saindak mining project is a clear evidence of that. Now we hear it is being closed. We are also told that many an oil well, even after having success in drilling, have been sealed off. Another mysterious development we hear about is that armoured watchtowers have been erected all along the Makran coast for unknown reasons. There are even more worrying developments around the strategically located Gwadar and Ormara ports. Several airbases are rumoured to have cropped up at Dalbandin and Noshki. These bases are reportedly capable of handling heaviest of the cargo aeroplanes. I may be being pessimistic but all this is like the writing on the wall as far as I am concerned. Our province of Balochistan appears ripe for 'independence' through help of some foreign, anti-Pakistan powers. A clear, uninterrupted passage from Central Asian to the Arabian Sea is evidently the goal. -HUSSAIN KHAN BALOCH, Rawalpindi May 6.