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Number of Downlaods: 14

Published Date: Apr 1, 2010

Natural Resources: Blessing or Curse(W-115)

Abid Suleri, Babar
Shahbaz and Meezan Z. Khwaja


The two
provinces of Pakistan where there is much contestation over the access and
benefit sharing of natural resources are Balochistan and North West Frontier
Province (NWFP).  The key issue is the
underlying relationship between natural resources and conflicts, the latter
often emerging as a result of unequal access and benefit sharing to the former.
The central thesis of this paper is that the natural gas royalty issue in
Balochistan (Western Province of Pakistan) and the water royalty issue in North
West Frontier Province (NWFP) have not been granted adequate attention at the
federal level in Pakistan leading to what can be called the politics of
discontent and the fuelling of separatist nationalist movements gradually
resorting to militancy in the provinces from which these natural resources are
captured. Great provincial autonomy that partly translates
into uncontested access to benefits accruing from their natural resources has
been the demand of major political parties (that are termed as nationalist
parties in local context) in Balochistan and NWFP and the issue of royalties
plays an important role in electoral politics in these provinces.