By: Javed Sarwar
Panjgur, a district in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, is home to a population of over 350,000 people. Despite its modest size, Panjgur has always played an important role in the economic development of the region, thanks to its strategic location near the Iranian border. One of the key factors that contributed to the district’s economic prosperity was the opening of its airport, which was granted international status in 2011. now stands desolate and empty. The airport’s suspension of flights has left the local population stranded and the local economy struggling.
However, the suspension of flights by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in recent years has left the future of Panjgur airport in question.
When Panjgur airport was first granted international status, it was seen as a major step forward for the region. The airport was set to serve as a key transportation hub, linking Panjgur with other major cities in Pakistan, as well as with international destinations. PIA, the national carrier of Pakistan, had started offering flights to Sharjah, a major commercial center in the United Arab Emirates, via Turbat. The move was welcomed by the people of Panjgur, they saw it as a key opportunity to improve their economic prospects and raise their standard of living.
However, in recent years, the suspension of PIA flights to Panjgur has left the district in a state of isolation. The lack of air connectivity has made it difficult for people to travel outside the district, affecting their ability to access essential services such as healthcare and education. The suspension of flights has also had a negative impact on the local economy, with businesses struggling to access markets outside the district.
The situation has left the people of Panjgur with a sense of uncertainty and separation. Many feel that the suspension of flights has made them feel cut off from the rest of the country and the world. This feeling of isolation has also contributed to a sense of inferiority among the people of the district, who feel that they are being left behind while other regions in Pakistan are making progress.
The government and PIA have failed to take any concrete steps to address the issue. This has left the people of Panjgur feeling neglected and abandoned by the state.
The uncertain future of Panjgur airport is a cause for concern not just for the people of the district, but also for the region as a whole. The airport has the potential to serve as a key transportation hub, connecting Balochistan with other parts of Pakistan and the world. It is time for the government and PIA to take the necessary steps to ensure that Panjgur does not become a forgotten corner of the country, but instead a vibrant and prosperous community.