Economic Development of Balochistan’ by Syed Fazl-e-Haider specifically deals with the latest developments taking place in different sectors of Balochistan’s economy and their possible impacts on socio-economic conditions of the local people of Balochistan. The author, Syed Fazl-e-Haider is basically a journalist. He has been contributing articles on economics of Balochistan in EBR pages of Daily Dawn. The book has been written with a professional touch. It is equally important for students of Economics and the development planners in Islamabad.
The significant problems and issues related to the economic development of Balochistan and the constraints, snags in exploitation of its tremendous development potential in all sectors of economy have been analyzed and discussed realistically in the book. Some suggestions have also been given by the author to resolve these issues and problems for the consideration of development planners and decision-makers in Islamabad.
Balochistan is approximately 44 % of the total landmass of the country, but it is the least populated and least developed province. Its huge development potential is yet to be tapped. Successive governments prior to October 1999 made no serious effort in this context. The President General Pervez Musharraf got the credit to become first in laying the foundation of economic development of Balochistan by launching Mega projects during three years of his military administration. At present, Mega projects like Gwadar deep-water port, Saindak copper mining, Mirani Dam, Kachhi canal and score of other development schemes are going on promising greater foreign investment, development and prosperity in Balochistan.
The book also highlights the apprehensions and reservations of the local people about the ongoing process of development in the province.
I firmly believe that prosperity of Pakistan is linked with the economic development and prosperity of Balochistan as it is the strategically located province, which enhances Pakistan’s geopolitical importance in the region.
By virtue of its strategic location, the province would be the epicenter of interests for the economic tigers, foreign investors and big powers of the world, in near future.
A separate chapter on environmental resources of Balochistan has also been included to highlight and analyze the issues related to the sustainable development in the province. This book is equally important and interesting for both the generalist and specialist readers. I suggest, the book should be included in the syllabi of graduate and post-graduate level in the subject of ‘Development Economics & Planning’ at national level.
It is hoped that this book will provide the readers with a ‘knowledge base’ in context of Balochistan, its development potential and the prospects, constraints and issues related to the economic development of this most backward province.
Prof. Q.M Tousif Akhtar,
Department of Economics,
University of Balochistan