Balochistan: Car Smugglers' Paradise
Daily Times, June 25, 2007
You want a brand new luxury car for a few hundred thousand rupees? Come to Balochistan where MPAs and nazims ride them and sell them across the country with impunity. There is money to be made in Balochistan as nowhere else. The cars come from Chaman on the border with Afghanistan. The vehicles travel a long way from the Gulf countries to Iran and then to Afghanistan. From Afghanistan, they are brought to Chaman and sold dirt-cheap. It is now one of the largest illegal businesses in the province.
Pakistan’s western border has suffered neglect from a state that has looked to the eastern borders as its ideological obligation. The population along the western border lives on smuggling and consequently has no economic nexus with Pakistan. It is not only the US$5 billion Pakistan is losing in duties, it is the loyalty to the state that is lost too when smuggling becomes a way of life.
It is time to secure the “unthreatened” eastern borders through normalisation of relations with India and concentrate on the western border along which we are also losing territory. *