28th May: Nuclear Tests in Chaghi
By Muhammad Akbar Notezai
Pakistan , on May 28, 1998, tested the nuclear tests in the mountains of district Chaghi, comes in northwest of Balochistan. Undoubtedly, people living in other provinces, especially people of Punjab , celebrate the 28th of May with zeal and zest. They hold functions in busiest cities of the country on the same day, however, in busiest cities; people will assuredly be hectic with their works. That is the reason they are incognizant, knowing nothing about the venue where nuclear tests were tested and caused severe destruction in the same area.
Nevertheless, it is beyond comprehension that why have these tests been tested in district Chaghi? Don’t they know that Chaghi is a backward district where people are deprived of their basic necessities? Are they much facilitated? Anyhow, these questions can’t be answered, and then I shall not pose more questions, shall I?
Now let us know about the whereabouts of the people of Chaghi; indeed it is a densely populated district and its area is stretched to Iran and Afghanistan as well as known the biggest district of the Pakistan.
Chaghi is known as the golden district of the Pakistan, also where Saindak and Rekodik projects are running. Copper and Gold, in great quantity, are being extracted for many years, but its people, unfortunately, are living in medieval ages.
Mostly people of the Chaghi are farmers, historically Chaghi was known the land of wells, but this all has been affected largely aftermath of nuclear tests. It caused the evaporation of the water from the land of Chaghi; people hardly cultivate something for the fulfillment of their needs, which is very pathetic.
Contiguous districts of the Chaghi are Kharan, Nushki and Washuk, have also been affected from the nuclear tests.
In remote areas of district Chaghi, people graze sheep and goats, and from these animals they also fulfill their many requirements, like from their wool and hair, taints, clothes, handicrafts and many more stuffs, but pathetically, the source of their income, has been affected substantially. Anyhow, its reason is conspicuous, that is the nuclear tests, and snatched the basic requirements of chaghi’s people.
It is obvious that many unforeseen diseases, in Chaghi, got birth after the nuclear tests. It took away many people’s lives, and many more are disease stricken. Sadly, the people of the Chaghi are uneducated, especially in its remote areas; hapless people don’t consult doctors when they suffer from a malady. The diseases in Chaghi: Skin cancer, blood cancer, stomachache, disabled children, Arthritis, disfigured external organs, asthma, etc. During labor many women died, also after giving birth.
As it is already mentioned above that Chaghi and its adjacent areas are dependent on agriculture. They cultivate corns, grains, figs, water melon, vegetables, grapes, etc, water for plantation comes form streams in the hills, to a greater extent, these all changed due to radiation, caused drastic changes in environment.
Aftermath of nuclear tests, it is reported that the large number of cattle of the people in these areas died, reason was the high level radiation.
Ali Raza Rind, local journalist of Chaghi, said, “Many people suffered from nuclear tests, can’t get themselves treated due to lack of facilities of medical. They can’t come to Quetta too, because of poverty”.
Indeed, hospitals in district Chaghi are in pitiable condition, there is only one well known in Dalbandin, headquarter of Chaghi, which was built by Governor of Saudia King Tabuk But in present times, hospital shows a deserted look, no doctors, medicines, administration or other facilities are available in hospital. Patients are always referred to Quetta for treatment. Besides Dalbandin, in three more thesils, like Nukkundi, Chagay, and Taftan, pathetically, there are no good hospitals.
Ex Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, after nuclear tests, said in Chaghi,” I will make Chaghi a modern district, people will be provided jobs. I will provide poor people of district Chaghi the basic necessities of life, like food, cloth and housing. I will construct roads hospitals and schools.” But these all claims went purposeless and Chaghi is still the same as it was before. These all clearly show the indolence of the Ex Prime Minister that being the prime minister of the country he couldn’t develop a district, and then what can he do for the county ahead?
Ex-Chief Minister of Balochistan Akhtar Mengal said that he was not informed about the nuclear tests in Chaghi, but it was appeared, a day before from nuclear tests, in “Jang” newspaper that Pakistan would test it nuclear capability at Raskoh. However, he is a great leader, as done a lot for the drown trodden Baloch People, regarding nuclear tests, he must clear that what were the compulsions which didn’t let him stop the rulers from testing the nuclear tests in Chaghi, Balochistan.
Every year, people on 28th May, hold placards, banners, etc in order to celebrate the day. They play songs; decorate the all cities of the other provinces, and calling it “Yaum-e-Takbeer” which means Allah’s greatness day, but people of the Balochistan observe this day as a black day because it has caused severe destruction to the area dwellers of the Chaghi, Balochsitan.