A report by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has noted that at the current rate of influx of Chinese nationals into Balochistan and after completion of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the native population of the area will be outnumbered by 2048.
This trend has sparked fear of marginalisation among the Baloch citizens, who are unsure of how will the unskilled people of the province maintain their lives without land ownership which is their only asset. To address this concern, the FPCCI has recommended that the government should provide a sense of security to the natives by including them in the legislative process and by providing them with technical and vocational training to ensure their share in the economic sphere, reports the Nation.
The report was launched at a press conference on Wednesday by FPCCI president Rauf Alam, who said that the government could not separate the representations of the private sector and the main stakeholder of the economy from formulation of a policy regarding the CPEC.
He said that the FPCCI had constituted an advisory committee on the CPEC that prepared a comprehensive report, which has categorised all ambiguities and controversial argument in six statements. As per the report, the most important apprehension of the people of Balochistan relates to change in demography.
Gwadar is the ultimate destination of the CPEC while Balochistan is the least-populated province of Pakistan with rich natural resources. This attracts the people to settle here and the CPEC will facilitate them to travel and settle in the province. It is quite obvious that ethnic patterns of population distribution will be affected by the inflow of people from China and other parts of Pakistan, the report said.
It added that conservatively 0.44 persons per thousand migrate from China because of economic reasons that corroborates the inflow of more than 6,00,000 people per year in Pakistan after operating the CPEC. At present, Balochis are 55 percent of the total population of the province and the current growth rate of Balochistan’s population is 2.36 percent. This growth in population is the composition of crude birth rate, death rate and migration of the people in Balochistan from other provinces of Pakistan.
The stimulation results based on the existing rate of migration from China at 0.44 persons per thousand and rate of population growth at 0.43 percent, we may predict that the share of Chinese in Balochistan’s population is destined to increase with the completion of the CPEC and by 2045 Chinese population may be greater than the population of people of Pakistani origin in the province, said the report. The change in population dynamics is the usual part of development and progress. However, the report said that there were several possible ways to avoid undesired situations.