The Parliamentary committee of coalition partners of the Balochistan government, while welcoming a resolution passed by the Senate, also called for increased representation of the province in the National Assembly (NA). Increasing representation in principle is great, since more representation in the NA, theoretically speaking, can augment the neglect of the province and its people. However, the question worth asking is this: Will the mere increase in the participatory process in the parliament offer any real help?

Low voter turnout will remain a considerable challenge even if the seats for Balochistan go up in the lower house of the parliament. Reduced participation in the electoral process, as witnessed in the 2018 elections, when the voter turnout dropped by more than 3 percent as compared to 2013, is a point of concern. The people in the province have lost faith in the efficacy of the electoral process. Therefore, even if the bill of enhancing Baloch representation in the house passes, marginalisation of the province will not end.

Clearly, the Baloch problem cannot be solved with such a simple step even if it is the first of many more interventions by the state to bring the disgruntled Baloch people back into the national ambit. The proposal of the coalition partners is not idealistic. However, a more meaningful step would be for them to ask the centre to announce a special package for the socio-economic uplift of the province, where a significant chunk of the population lives in multidimensional poverty.