Natural gas was discovered at Sui Gas Field in 1952 and by 1955, this gas was being supplied to different parts of Pakistan. Being discovered in the Sui fields, natural gas in Pakistan came to be called ‘Sui Gas’.

Sui, the town which is a mere four miles from the gas discovery site, itself has no gas supply and people are forced to use wood and coal as fuel. It is pertinent to note that Article 158 of Pakistan’s Constitution which states that,

“The Province in which a well-head of natural gas is situated shall have precedence over other parts of Pakistan in meeting the requirements from the well-head, subject to the commitments and obligations as on the commencing day.” This means provinces producing gas would receive gas in precedence from other provinces of Pakistan.

On the other hand, Dr Kaiser Bengali in his book “A Cry For Justice, Empirical insights from Balochistan” describes in detail how Pakistan benefitted from the gas fields of Sui. From 1952 till 1969, Sui was the only field which supplied gas to the country. Sui remained the largest producer of Gas in Pakistan till the late 1980s. However, Balochistan received gas supply for the first time in 1982, and as per the calculation of Bengali mentioned in the book, Balochistan had paid subsidies of Rs 7.69 trillion from 1955 to 2014. That speaks volumes about the contribution of Balochistan in the economic development of Pakistan. The deprivation of provision and supply of gas connection to the Province of Balochistan is arbitrary, unreasonable and discriminatory.

The Pakistani state should consider the fact that Balochistan, being the producer of Sui gas, deserves to benefit from it fairly. Steps taken towards meeting this demand would diminish the sense of deprivation that is widely felt by the people of Balochistan.

On the other hand, continuing the policy of discrimination against the rightful share of gas will widen the gulf of distrust and uncertainty among the people of Balochistan.

GHULAM HYDER MUGHERI,

Larkana.