Pakistan’s Natural Riches: A Report

There are many among the youth of our country who underestimate the beauty of Pakistan; they fail to see the treasures hidden under the cultural landscape and look at it condescendingly, comparing it to other countries with superficial “luxuries” to offer. Among the many things that are unwary of, they do not know that this wondrous land which is the sixth most populous country in the world, boasts the second largest Muslim (and Shi’ite Muslim) population, only after Indonesia. It has been listed as one of the next eleven economies identified by Goldman Sachs investment bank and is believed to have a high potential of becoming the world’s largest economies in the 21st century, Insha’ALLAH.
This land of the pure has natural resources in such abundance that it can sustain itself for many years ahead. Scientific investigation and exploration, into the resources, have only really been under way for a few years; the equipments used are obsolete and outdated, while the analysis is incomplete. Regardless of all the constraints, it is believed that all of while has been identified so far is a mere tip of the iceberg.

Keeping that into consideration, the Pakistani Government should be wary and cautious of the west’s initiatives, which include physical or technical penetration into the country; with special attention to wherever the US is concerned. One cannot help but wonder, is the ‘war on terror’ for real? Have any of the previous U.S. claims been credible enough for any country to defy the popular opinion, and compromise its integrity and national sovereignty? Is it possible that the so called ‘war on terror’ is a curtain hiding the real true agenda for their excuse to invade a country and rob and plunder those countries natural resources? It is now a commonly acknowledged fact that the presence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s) and the ‘restoration of democracy’ was a fabrication of their imagination; the real motive could have been strategic occupation, control of resources, political domination and/or a military exercise. Could the theory regarding control of its oil be true after all? Contrary to what is believed, The Soviet did not intend to conquer Afghanistan; it was induced to do so when CIA intervened with the mujahedeen plight and avenge the aftermath of the Vietnam War. This however does not mean that Afghanistan was not a temptation, since natural resources were stored in tiny huts for several years after being exploited by the Soviet; this is evident from the soil cores which were drilled deep in various parts of the country and were ‘discovered’ when the US Air force deliberately bombed these storage facilities. Understandably, the US Army (assisted by the CIA) had initially collected the information which they needed to conduct their research on the wealth of Afghanistan and in order to determine the costs and the benefits of their involvement. In 2007 -2008, a team of scientists and technicians was sent to Afghanistan by the World Bank (WB) to evaluate and analyze the status of the country and identify the resources which could be “beneficial for the reconstruction of the country, plagued by war”. The World Bank’s assessment reported that Afghanistan had enough resources to be self sufficient and sustain its economy by becoming a major exporter of the finest copper, natural gas, and many other resources. Which brings us back to Pakistan; it is believed that the extent of analysis of the natural resources is limited due to restraints of funds, equipment, trained personnel and mainly corruption.
Pakistan is a producer of crude oil, natural dry and liquid gases, coal, and hydroelectric energy, as well as its substantial amounts of natural resource in minerals. Below is a more detailed list of information of these natural resources.
Crude Oil
The oldest and largest Exploration and Production Company is the Pakistan Petroleum Ltd, (PPL) incorporated in June 1950. First oil discovery was in 1952 Baluchistan near a giant Sui gas field and search intensified in 1980’s for oil and natural gases. Oil & Gas are two of the major components of Pakistan’s Energy mix contributing more than 80% to the 60.4 million of energy requirement in Pakistan. A number of new fields are in Potwar Plateau – Punjab and in Sind. But as demand for oil out numbers the amounts produced Pakistan imports crude oil.
Natural Gas
The largest natural gas deposit is at Sui (on the border between Baluchistan and Punjab) initially discovered in 1953. A smaller field was discovered in 1957 in Sind – Mari. Natural gas production is at a relatively high level. PPL contributes 25% of Pakistan’s gas production. The Company’s holds operators on major oil and gas fields including Sui, Kandhkot, Adhi and Mazarani, while its non-operated portfolio includes interests in the Qadirpur, Miano, Sawan and Tal fields. The Company’s exploration portfolio includes operated and non-operated joint ventures in 10 onshore blocks and 2 offshore blocks. As it can be seen the production of Gas and Oil is on the increase, and resources will eventually run out hence the reason to search for new energy sources such as

PPL Production
FY 2003
FY 2004
FY 2005
Oil/NGL (barrels per day)
Natural Gas (million cubic feet per day)

Coal mining is one of the country’s oldest industries. Geological investigation has shown that Pakistan has 185 billion tones of coal mainly in Sindh- Lakhra, Sonda-Thatta, Jherruck, Thar, and others. There are smaller deposits in the Punjab – Eastern Salt Range, Central Salt Range and Makerwal. Smallest deposits are present in Baluchistan. Lakhra Coal Development Company Limited (LCDC) is the major company involved in the production of coal. Usually quality of coal is of grade2 or 3. Again like crude oil the consumption is much higher than the production.
Although energy production has grown faster than the economy as a whole, it is not kept pace with demand, and as a result there are shortages of fuel and electric power. The bulk of power requirements are provided by thermal plants (crude oil, coal and natural gas), with most of the remainder provided by hydroelectric installations.
Hydroelectric Energy
Hydroelectricity is electricity generated by hydropower, i.e., the production of power through use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is on of the most widely used form of renewable energy. Once a hydroelectric complex is constructed, the project produces no direct waste, and has a considerably lower output level of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) than fossil fuel (crude oil, Coal, and natural gases) powered energy plants.  The Pakistani Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) are responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of power.
The first ever constructed dam was Mangla Dam in the Mirpur District in 1961, this project was undertaken to strengthen the irrigation system but was damaged due to an Indian Air Force raid during the Indo-Pakistan War in 1971. The hydro project was later on developed. The power station consists of 10 turbine units each with the capacity of producing 100 Mega Watts.
After the success of the Mangla Dam demand for more electricity increased exponentially and projects for further such hydroelectricity power stations commenced. Such as the Tarbela Dam located northwest of Islamabad, the largest earth filled dam in the world was completed in 1974 specifically for hydroelectric power. Due to low sedimentation than expected it is now predicted to have a useful life span up to 2060. Downstream from this dam a smaller dam Ghazi Barotha Dam is a power generation project.
There are 2 other dam projects in the pipeline Diamer-Bhasha dam in the northern areas of Pakistan and Kalabagh Dam, but due to political wrangling amongst various sectors of Pakistan Kalabagh dam is postponed.
Overall Pakistan has the capacity to produce enough hydroelectric energy to supply all of Pakistan and even supply neighboring countries and cut short the use of thermal plants. Such events will surly lead Pakistan as a leader in south Asia in Greener energy supplies.
Nuclear Plants
There are two nuclear power plants, the Karachi Nuclear Power plant (completed in 1972) and Chashmar-1 plant (2000) at Kundian – Punjab. How much electricity actually is consumed by Pakistan is not very clear but Western documentation suggests power generated and contributed by the nuclear plants is very small. It’s also ideal to remember that Pakistan has had a long history of exporting small amounts of Uranium to the west, during which there were no issues raised then. Issues and eyebrows were raised only when Pakistan started recently using some of its own Uranium in it own nuclear power plants and weapons programs. Uranium deposits are found in Tumman Leghari mine in South Punjab, Baghalchur mine, Dera Ghazi Khan Mine and Issa Khel / Kubul Kel mines in, Mianwali District.
The Mineral investigation is far from complete, indicating Pakistan has a rich resource of many different minerals enough to sustain itself and export on the international market. A list of these minerals with small amounts of details

Location & Description
Iron Ore Kalabagh – Chichali – Punjab and Dilband- Kalat Baluchistan have hematitic Ore where 30-45% is Iron (Fe) there is estimated to be 200 Million tonnes present. Making of steel, construction,
Gypsum Deposits found in NWFP, Punjab, Sindh & Baluchistan where over a billion tonnes of reserves of gypsum an hydrate is present where by 30%-40% is CaO. There is a wide variety of application for this. One of the main ingredient for cement industry,
Marble (Soft Decorative Salt) Marble and similar stones such as Onyx are found in abundance and with such varieties of colours, shades and fabrics in inexhaustible quantities. Pakistan is known for its onyx exporter. Deposits are found in NWFP, Northern areas of Azad Jammu Kashmir, Federally Administered Tribal areas, Baluchistan and some areas of Punjab. Used in architecture, making of roads, cement, as reservoirs of petroleum and glass making
Hand Decorative Stones eg Granite Hugh amounts of Granites and basalt are found with a variety of colours ranging from black, olive, green, grey, salt & pepper and white granites found in Swat (NWFP, Baluchistan, Sindh, and the Himalayas Jewellery and decorative items
Gem Stones Found mainly in northern parts of country. Out of the 25 precious and semi precious stones and minerals 7 are intermittently exploited and marketed all over the world.Emeralds: Swat, Rubies: of Azad Jumma Kashmir and Gilgit and Hunza Ishkoman, Pink Topaz: from Katlang – Mardan, Aquamarine and Tourmalin: of Giligt & Chitral, Pedidot: in Kohistan & Pargasite of Hunzia. Excellent crystal clarity, range o size/weight meeting any International standards Jewellery and decorative items
Copper 400 Million tonnes of copper is present in Chagr also present in Darband Choh Ziarat, Pir Sultan, Kabul Koh & Missi For electrical engineering and transmission, wires and equipments; alloys of copper can be used for various purposes in MEP (Mechanical Electrical and Plumbing)
Lead – Zinc Found in Bela Khuzdar Lead is resistant to radioactivity, thus insulates the reserves, for batteries, PVC and high voltage power cables. Zinc is used in paints, batteries; it has uses in X Ray and Television screens
Chromites Deposits of 30,000 tonnes found in Chagai – Raskoh, 0.6 Million tonnes in Chilas complex Important refractory material, has high stability in intense heat
Fluorite Maran & Pad Marun & Dilband District of Qalal-Bal estimating 0.1 Million tonnes. used to lower the melting point of raw materials in production of steel to aid the removal of impurities; can be made into hydrofluoric acid, used for oil refining and can also be used for making of various types of lenses.
Barite and dolomite Uthal & Khuzdar in Baluchistin Used in construction, dolomite is also an important petroleum reservoir material and can be used for horticulture purposes.
Magnetite 2 deposits one in Dargani-Sakhakot in Mardan & Sherwan where 11.27 million tonnes is found. Is a valuable source of iron ore.
Agglomerate Blocks formed by Volcanic materials, with various other minerals Can be used instead of iron for melting and oxidizing of steel; it has lower costs and takes up lesser time. One of its minerals Olivine, is used for making Aluminium.
Granite Found in large amounts in Thar, near Chagai and Reko Diq Used for construction and engineering purposes
Soapstone Lasbela and Khuzdar districts Miscellaneous decorative uses

As you can from the above table, there is no dearth of resources in Pakistan; all this country needs is a faith from its people, including those who always underestimate its wonders.
The Alternative Energy Development Board is researching for further alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and bio-diesel energy sources, considering the before stable energy sources shall one run out.
As mentioned before, there are various limitations due to which the natural resources exploration is probably only 20 – 40 % of actual deposit estimates. Pakistan has the capability to be self sufficient, provided corruption and political wrangling does not interfere with development. There are many reasons why Pakistan has not been able to rise to its potential, but many more why it would eventually succeed against all odds.


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