Islamabad, June 18 : If the federal government in Pakistan doesn't grant autonomy to Balochistan and continues to treat its people in the way it has treated them as in the past, and even now, the time is not far when the people of the province would demand Balochistan as a separate independent state, said Senate Deputy Chairman Jan Muhammad Jamali while speaking in the country's Upper House last evening.
He said that the province was rich with natural resources but had no control over them. According to them, the provincial chief minister had to 'beg' for money from the federal government so that he could formulate a budget for the province.
Arrears worth Rs 800 billion in gas royalties were yet to be paid to Balochistan by the Centre, the Daily Times quoted him as saying.
"The time is running out ... there is no other option left but to grant provincial autonomy to all the provinces including Balochistan," Jamali said and added that he had been forced to raise the voice of the people of his province, as the situation was rapidly deteriorating.
"The four brothers (provinces) will not be able to live together if the situation remains the same. There is a dire need to bring in constitutional amendments to give autonomy to the federal units, otherwise it will not be possible to keep the four provinces together," he added.
He said that he was among those who had always been pro-Pakistan, but was forced to raise the voice of the Balochs because they were dejected over the way in which they were being treated by the federal government.