Pakistan’s heart of splendid culture, history and civilization and archaic trade route is going awry amid negligence of the governments for the past 74 years.

I belong to the Thal region that sprawls over seven districts of Punjab including Khushab, Mianwali, Bakhar, Layyah, Muzaffargarh, Jhang and Chinot.

These seven districts of Thal have 19 seats in the National Assembly and 37 in the Punjab Assembly.

It would not be out of place to call Thal the land of rivers because one of the largest rivers Indus flows on its West and Chenab on the East while River Jhelum flows in the North, whereas Head Panjnad (meaning five rivers) is the joining point of Punjab’s mighty five rivers embraces the region at the South.

Thal, apart from its unique geographical location also hosts the site of Kalabagh Dam which is called the lifeline of the country.

With great pride, I mention that Thal is the largest desert of Pakistan inhabiting a huge population and natural resources along with massive size of agriculture and youth in the region. But unfortunately, this land of opportunities and reserves has no medical college to cater for the huge healthcare and education needs of the local masses.

Likewise, there is no Engineering University and Agriculture University in Thal that has huge potential for local agriculture and cultivation.

I am sorry to say that there is no women’s university in the seven districts of Thal which has been quoted in Sanskrit as the gold mountains owing to its increasing economic potential.

There is a divisional headquarters in other divisions of the province that have less area, political representation in the parliament, population and resources but in the seven districts of Thal neither there is any divisional headquarters nor any bench of the High court in the entire Thal to provide speedy and timely relief and justice to the local masses.

Thal’s main road Mainwali Muzaffargrah (MM) Road has become a killer road due to increased traffic accidents on a daily basis rendering huge loss of precious lives. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s constituency also existed in Thal which has by no means gained any attention or right to address its problems.

Lack of Education, Health, Road Infrastructure, Industry, Agricultural uplift and business opportunities the local residents of the region are migrating at a faster pace to well-off districts of Lahore, Rawalpindi and others which is increasing urbanization and population burden on the already overpopulated districts at an alarming rate. If these facilities are extended to the people of Thal then it would definitely reduce the burden on the already resource-scarce cities of the province and would help preserve a potential food basket of the entire country that has been left on the mercy of fate to decay under the dust of time and ignorance. No government since partition in 1947 has paid attention to this region which has an abundance of water, youth, agriculture and natural resources.

This is the plight of the people of Thal that need your and stakeholders urgent attention to get relief from the quarters concerned.