ISLAMABAD -  The Senate Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas was Monday informed that the condition in Balochistan is worse than Sudan and Somalia and the women mortality rate in the province is four times higher than rest of the country.

The Senate Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas, which met here with Senator Usman Khan Kakar in the chair showed serious concern over the water scarcity in Balochistan.

The committee member Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini said that Balochistan is on the verge of destruction and there is a severe water shortage in the province. He said the provincial capital Quetta is also facing water shortage.

The committee was informed that in the whole Pakistan 178 women out of 100,000 die during delivery while in Balochistan the mortality rate is four times higher than rest of the country where 758 women die during delivery.

The situation is also no good in FATA where women mortality rate is three times higher than rest of the country, the official said. It was informed that in FATA 73 per cent while in Balochistan 71 per cent population lives below the poverty line.

The Chief Executive Officer Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) said that since 1960 Dera Bugti is producing gas but till now there is no gas in Tehsil Bugti. Similarly, gas exploration is also taking place in Thatta and Badin districts of Sindh but condition is bad in these district, he added.

Chairman Usman Kakar directed that poverty alleviation funds and foreign donations should be distributed on the basis of poverty and not on the basis of population. He said that poverty in less-developed districts is increasing day by day. The amenities such are water, education and health did not exist in these districts, he added. He said that loans should be issued to the less-developed areas on the basis of poverty ratio. If funds cannot be allocated in the budget then funds from Zakwat and charity should be diverted towards these areas, he added.

Senator Nisar said that there is no plan for the poverty eradication and funds allocated in the name of poverty alleviation are being utilised for offices and welfare of government’s Babus. He said that the Prime Minister’s interest free loan should be distributed at the terrorism-stricken areas of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The government should evolve a mechanism for deprived segment of the society and should establish a federal ministry for poverty alleviation, he added.

Senator Mir Kabeer said that life is miserable in Balochistan and women in remote areas of the province walk 5km to fetch water. The issue of water supply can be resolved by laying water pipeline, he added.

Senator Sameena Saeed said that outlying areas of Chitral are deprived of basic amenities. Senator Khalida Parveen said that in most part of South Punjab fatal disease is spreading because of contaminated water.

The committee recommended that loans should be distributed on the basis of poverty ratio, allocation for community development be increased by two per cent.  

The meeting was attended by Senator Sardar Azam Khan Musa Khail, Nisar Muhammad, Tanveer ul Haq Thanvi, Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Khalida Perveen, Gyan Chand and officials of the interior, defence and industries and productions.