The provincial government and the army are very optimistic regarding Balochistan. They have brought the province out of the mayhem and chaos it had been facing and the province is on the path of peace and stability. These sentiments were expressed at the inaugural ceremony of a hostel for students of the FC Public Boys School at Ghazaband Scouts headquarters. The Adviser to Chief Minister on Education Sardar Raza Muhammad Barech and Commander of Southern Command Lt Gen Muhammad Naseer Khan Janjua praised the efforts being made. The government has increased its educational budget by up to 24 per cent to provide maximum educational facilities to the youth of the province and to bring them up to par with other provinces of the country. The number of government schools in the province had increased to 13,000, leading to a corresponding increase in the number of enrolled students.

It is true that economic and social backwardness cannot be removed from Balochistan without spreading education. However education will not resolve the problem of the oppressive nature of the army and government in the province. Even if we have turned a new leaf, resentment from the past will continue to echo. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says the situation in the province is close to civil war. Amnesty International has called on the government to investigate the torture and killings of more than 40 Baloch political activists and leaders in what it termed ‘’a kill and dump policy”.

Better access to education is indeed a step in the right direction and will be a blessing for the education sector in the province. However, this narrative of widespread peace spreading in Balochistan is either too optimistic or too naïve.

Balochistan has a wealth of natural resources. However, the people are among the poorest in Pakistan. They barely have access to stable infrastructure, power or clean drinking water and 88 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line.

Real stability will come when people stop going missing, when the ideas of separatism are rooted out and when the Balochi people themselves believe that the situation is getting better.