Development Works in Balochistan
No doubt the province has witnessed the march of number of great conquerors and warriors in the past, but none of them has left any indelible imprint regarding development. In 1839, the British rule started through a highly centralized but small administration. The defense orientation of the administration precluded development and educational outlays. Thus the area remained deprived of educational, social and economic development. However, strategically some railway lines and roads were constructed. These include a railway line and a road branching off from Sukkur in the adjacent province of Sindh and passing through Quetta to Nokundi on the Iranian border. To facilitate the movement of troops in times of emergency another road and rail link was established between Quetta to Chaman, a small town on the Afghanistan border. Other transport and communication requirements needed for the socio-economic development of the province had been totally ignored.
After creation of Pakistan, the Balochistan States joined Pakistan. In 1955, Balochistan was merged into One-unit of the West Pakistan. No significant development took place during period 1955-70 for a variety of reasons, in spite of the fact that the region had received special attention in both the 2nd and 3rd Five Year Development Plans. The lack of infrastructure and institutional arrangements hindered the development efforts. The size of development outlay increased from Rs.22 million in 1960-61 to Rs.66 million in 1964-65, round about Rs .70 million in 1970 and Rs.1510.000 million in 1990-91. Balochistan was given the status of full fledged province after the dissolution of One-unit in 1970, and has since been receiving special attention. The initial period of 2 -3 years was devoted to establishment of proper administration. Since 1977, the province witnessed some fundamental changes. The objective of the development plan has been to bring the people of Balochistan in the socio-economic main stream of country.
Development Policy is based on all the packages of development programmes being implemented by the Provincial Government through Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), federal PSDP and other Federal government’s programmes. Within the frame work of above development programmes, road and irrigation infrastructure, education and health facilities, agriculture and industrial development get the highest priority so that socio-economic condition of the masses improves, and employment opportunities are created.
Balochistan is one of the cradicls of the agricultural revolution. It has hunters then, before 9000 B.C, by people living in settled villages who collected wild barley and learned how to domesticate the goat. By 6000 B. C the villages along the Bolan river were cultivating barley and wheat using flood irrigation, and were storing their surplus in large mud bins. By this time they had also domesticated sheep, humped cattle and buffalo. After 6000 B. C they discovered how to make pottery, and by 4000 B. C were using a potters wheel and trading their superior pottery to Iran and Afghanistan By 2000 B. C they were growing the summer crops of Rice, Millet and Sorghum, and horses, donkeys and camels were domesticated. At this time there was a regular contact between the Indus s valley and Mesopotamia via Balochistan and Iran, and it is not inconceivable that the great civilization of the Indus and Mesopotamia developed out of a culture similar to that in Balochistan. Over population and over grazing led to the dramatic change in the productivity of Balochistan. it was not until the last 30 years that the use of irrigation and better farming methods have reclaimed parts of Balochistan, changing some of the landscape back to what it must have looked like in the pre-historic times.