“Exciting Things Are Happening in Balochistan”: Governor
Pakistan Link Report

Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani addresses the gathering
Governor Balochistan with COPAA President Dr. Razaq Chaudhry, Ex- President Hamid Malik and Consul General Syed Ibne Abbas
Link’s Managing Editor Arif Mansuri presents a copy of the paper to the Governor

Buena Park, CA: “Exciting things are happening in Balochistan” and the province is poised to serve as “the new economic frontier of Pakistan.” So observed Mr. Owais Ahmed Ghani, Governor of Balochistan, at a reception hosted in his honor by the Council of Pakistan American Affairs (COPAA) at the Knotts Berry Resort Hotel on Saturday, August 4, 2007.
A picture of grace and poise in a white shalwar and kameez, the governor brought happy tidings from the rugged and sparsely populated Balochistan: a wind of change is sweeping the province, a vibrant and dynamic middle class is becoming progressively assertive in the affairs of the province, foreign investment is on the rise, education is gaining popularity, job opportunities are multiplying, and the infrastructure for development is being systematically strengthened. The society is well on its way to change and in the next ten years the world will witness a wholesome transition from a tribal society to an enlightened middle class.
In support of his argument, the governor furnished many convincing statistics. The government has been pumping 213 billion rupees for various developmental projects. Two recent finds have added to the gas reserves. New land approximating 800,000 acres is being brought under the plough. A higher efficiency irrigation system is being introduced. The number of universities has gone up from one to six. “We see a rising middle class posing a stiff challenge to the tribal society,” Mr. Ghani remarked, adding, “Today, Balochistan is the most secured, and politically more stable” than the other provinces of Pakistan. He mentioned China, Germany, Chile, Canada among a string of foreign countries that are keen to invest in various developmental projects in Balochistan. “The private sector will be the driver of all activities, the government will only be a facilitator,” he enunciated the strategy for growth.

Governor Balochistan with prominent community members at the COPAA reception.

The governor also referred to the colossal loss resulting from recent rains in the province. In four days of heavy downpour – the heaviest in the last 200 years – the damage and devastation was appreciable and widespread About 150,000 houses were washed away, the casualties aggregated 170, and the irrigation system was badly damaged. Those who lost houses struggle to survive under the sun. The province is in urgent need of assistance.

Nikhat Khan, Link's LA Representative, with the gentleman who recited a soorah from the Holy Qur'an

Qari Sahib

Mr. Ghani also informed the gathering of Pakistan’s “effective and robust system” which is in place to combat terrorism with 80,000 Pakistani troops deployed on the Pak-Afghan border to strike at the militants. He added that extremism, a leftover of the Afghan Jihad, emanates from Afghanistan. Its root cause needs to be addressed – politically – for a much needed change. The governor went on to explain that every country has its own set of references and allies “must understand each others’ frame of references” rather than making unwarranted charges and accusations.

Earlier, Dr. Razaq Chaudhry, President of COPAA, welcomed the governor and recounted the Council’s important role in the passage of the Brown Amendment in the 1990s which played a catalytic role in reviving Pakistan-US relations. COPAA’s strivings and initiatives had a “dramatic effect” in reinvigorating ties between the two countries. With each passing year, the Council’s activities gain momentum.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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