Balochistan is clichéd as the largest province of Pakistan with the smallest population and with vast natural resources. This is indeed true. It is also true that with just 1.5 million families, Balochistan—at one job per family—needs just 1.5 million jobs. Yet the province is abjectly under-developed, with virtually absent physical infrastructure and abysmally low social development indicators. Unemployment and poverty, even hunger, is rampant. Local discontent and anger over the state of affairs has repeatedly boiled over into insurgencies, with one under way currently.
A Cry for Justice empirically documents five different aspects of under-development and deprivation in Balochistan: gas pricing, federal development expenditure, federal social protection, federal civil service, and structure of electoral representation. It is the first attempt to detail the facts of systematic economic exploitation, discrimination, and neglect that Balochistan has shouldered and continues to face—minus the fiction of imagined wrongs.
Dr Kaiser Bengali is an economist with over 35 years of experience in teaching, research, and policy advisory. He has a Master’s in Economics from the Boston University, USA, and a PhD in Economics from the University of Karachi, Pakistan. He has been associated with prestigious institutions in Pakistan such as the AERC, University of Karachi, SDPI, SZABIST, PILER, and was Managing Director of the SPDC, Karachi.
Dr Bengali’s international academic and consultancy experience includes work at the Institut Universitaire d’Etudes du Developpment, University of Geneva, Switzerland, and the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK, and with international organizations in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, and Kenya.
He has also held a number of government positions and has served as Head of the Chief Minister’s Policy Reform Unit, Government of Balochistan; and Advisor to the Chief Minister of Sindh for Planning and Development. He was the first head of the BISP (Benazir Income Support Programme) and also designed the programme. He was also Sindh’s representative on the 7th NFC, which gave a successful Award, and is now Balochistan’s representative on the 9th NFC.
Kaiser Bengali has several research publications in national and international journals and is the author/editor of eight books on subjects ranging from unemployment, inequality and poverty, to education, water, gender, and urban and regional development.