Sweet Smelling Orchards (travelogue of Baluchistan) - My Writings: expressions over time

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Sunday, August 28, 2022

Sweet Smelling Orchards (travelogue of Baluchistan)


The aroma in the air enchanted our senses as the car continued on its course. There were apple manors on the two sides of the road. This smell was coming from the apples and other fruit plantations.
Around then, at that point, we were going toward Orak, which is a green and rich valley on the edges 
of Quetta. This journey happened a long while back during one of our mid-year getaways. On returning from the trip, I had a couple of discussions with my relatives and family partners about the social norms of Balochistan. Furthermore, we were also talking about the scale of poverty that was so eminent in different parts of this region. Along these lines, this trip opened one more window of insight in my soul that stirred me to create this travelogue.

Departure From RawalpindiIt started pouring heavily just as we were about to depart for Quetta from Rawalpindi. The airport was in a state of complete commotion. The length of the takeoff from Rawalpindi to Quetta is only a solitary hour, but the flight was delayed due to bad weather. People waiting in line were getting agitated to receive their boarding passes and have their luggage stacked. As a country, we have a gigantic shortfall of discipline.
After so much hustling around, we finally boarded the plane. Both of my youngsters were extraordinarily fortified and eager to be on their most noteworthy air trip ever. Their delight was overpowering as they were looking at the clouds flying outside the window of the plane. Whenever in light of the significant fog, the plane would stun, and they would shout with elation. Youths have such endless eminently genuine and unsophisticated traits. These properties draw us to them. They make us snicker and their perfection and guiltlessness make living with kids remarkable.

After some time, our plane landed safely at Quetta International Airport, where my significant other was waiting for us. At that time he was posted in Khuzdar Balochistan around then as a primary trained
professional engineer. Quetta air terminal is more unassuming when stood out from Lahore or Rawalpindi air terminal and the workplaces are also not adequate Maybe there is some improvement
now. I think there are a couple of regions in Pakistan that have been deliberately kept backward by big players in the political game and I would say Balochistan is the primary one.

Bustling markets of Quetta 

We were reminded of Rawalpindi's rainy weather by the dry and scorching weather in Quetta. As I turned to look around, I found myself surrounded by tall, desolate mountains. Then I went over again how the mountains are not completely desolate. Even though they aren't green, nature has given them plenty of important minerals. During peak hours, the marketplaces in downtown Quetta were incredibly chaotic and bustling. Rubble could be seen everywhere. I want to emphasize once more that hygiene is another civil skill we lack, following discipline. Men wear massive turbans and beards. Women are generally only occasionally observed, heavily covered in burqas or long chaddars (a large sheet to cover the body ). Suddenly I felt the need to quickly wrap my chaddar tightly about my body and face. Despite my best efforts to wear local attire, I was undoubtedly the odd one out there.

Finally, the vehicle entered the cantonment district. Outstanding thought was paid to tidiness and security here. Our residential bungalow was clean and mostly devoid of furniture as Balochis usually sit on carpets with floor pillows. We were served delicious food and finally, my kids went to sleep and gave me a little bit of a breather. On the first night, a friend of mine coordinated dinner at Hotel Sarina. Hotel Sarina is beautifully constructed and tastefully decorated. We enjoyed grilled takka kebabs, Balochi pulao (rice ), and Saji (roasted lamb).

Khuzdar City

In the morning we were leaving for Khuzdar. Tehsil Khuzdar is located in the south of Balochistan. It is five to six hours by road from Quetta to Khuzdar city. Khuzdar city is located on the National Highway, which is about 300 km from Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, and about 300 km from Karachi, the capital of Sindh. There is an old fort near the city that was built by the Arabs. The ruins of this fort are still there today. Apart from this, you will also find beautiful waterfalls here.

When you travel on the National Highway, you can see tall stone mountains on both sides. These mountains are devoid of natural beauty but their bosoms are full of minerals. Here I want to tell some facts about Balochistan in the form of a list so that we can think about what we as a nation can do to remove the deprivations of this province:

Facts About Balochistan

1: Balochistan province is the largest province of Pakistan in terms of area.

2: This large province of Pakistan, covering an area of ​​347,000 square kilometers, consists of mostly

waterless and vegetated mountains, deserts, deserts and dry and barren plains.

3: Cultivable land is said to be only 6% of the total area.

4: So far, about forty very valuable underground mineral reserves have been discovered in Balochistan, which according to careful estimates can meet the needs of the country for the next fifty to hundred years and are also a valuable source of foreign investment.

5: Some of the important minerals found in Balochistan include oil, gas, gold, copper, uranium, iron ore, coal, antimony, chromite, fluorite, ruby, sulfur, graphite, limestone, limestone, Magnetite, Soapstone, Phosphate, Gypsum, Aluminum, Platinum, Silicite, Sulphur, Lithium etc. are included.

6: A dispute over these minerals between Balochistan and the Federation has been going on since the first day. The main reason for this is that the people of Balochistan think that they have a small share of the resources and they do feel deprived and helpless. Since the establishment of Pakistan, this unrest has caused 5 insurgencies in different periods. Authority over the coast and resources and their use in the development and welfare of the province and the people is an important demand. On the contrary, decisions, actions, and attitudes have created mistrust and distance, and young people, in particular, have been deeply affected, and still are.

7: The law and order situation in Balochistan has always been tense and that is why there are obstacles to foreign investment.

Hanna Lake and Urak valley

Our stay in Khuzdar was about one month. After that, my husband had to go to Karachi due to office matters. During this one month time, we kept going far and near for sightseeing. The most memorable trip was to Hanna Lake. It is located around 11 kilometers from Quetta and is surrounded by towering hills. It is a man-made lake. When we arrived, it appeared as though someone had positioned a cup with water between the towering, brown mountains. Environmental changes have spoiled the beauty of this lake. In severe drought and heat, the water here dries up. It is obvious that the government's attention is needed in this regard so that this precious treasure of water continues and excess water continues to accumulate here. The surrounding gardens have also been severely impacted. Hanna Lake also serves as a Siberian bird sanctuary and it is of course a popular tourist destination. Hanna Lake also acts as a Siberian bird sanctuary and tourism, while the surrounding gardens have also been badly affected. Boating training is conducted on this lake and many boating competitions have also been held here. This lake is very deep in the middle due to which many accidents have happened here. A few years ago, the boat overturned and more than 15 people drowned due to overcrowding in the lake. Now, under the supervision of the army, the visitors are given a boat tour with necessary security arrangements. The lift chair installed near the lake was removed after an accident. Hanna Lake is actually a part of Orak Valley. Water from the springs of Orak Valley is brought to this lake to maintain the water supply. In Orak Valley, there are a lot of gardens and a water dam called the Willi Tangi Dam.


      We stopped at Gwadar as well on the route to Karachi. This coastal region was only considered to be a community of fishermen at the time. I've just learned that there have taken place numerous development efforts under CPEC (China -Pakistan Economic corridor). The fundamental benefit of Gwadar port is that it is situated in a region of the sea where the water is warm, which is unique among ports worldwide and allows for year-round commercial ship traffic on the warm water section. Shipping trade and diverse items by sea is not difficult. Iran's and Dubai Port World's (United Arab Emirates) interests seek to prevent Gwadar port from facing competition. That's why political distractions are increasing in Pakistan after the CPEC agreement. A global conspiracy game has started under which some powers want to end China's influence in Pakistan. Every country must determine its own course for growth, and national leaders must reach agreements and show tolerance when making decisions. We must keep in mind that Pakistan's progress is impossible without Balochistan's development.

Our tale of Balochistan comes to an end here. There were a few positive memories and some real emotions. Most of the time, I felt heartache, yet the lovely smell of apple and peach orchards would always soothe my emotions. The Baloch people are straightforward and traditional. Young folks desire to follow the latest trends in education and media. To elevate Balochistan to success, we must all play our roles.

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