The role of the marble mining industry in promoting peace and sustainable development in Lasbela

This paper calls for a new generation of initiatives that approach the marble industry as a platform to manage competing interests peacefully and to create the conditions necessary for sustainable economic growth and peace.

Lasbela district is the most south-easterly coastal district of Balochistan province, situated between Karachi, Pakistan’s economic powerhouse, and an area affected by high levels of poverty and poor infrastructure.

Lasbela’s marble industry offers a high-quality product, but attracting investment into an area poses significant issues. Challenges include navigating between members of the elite to guarantee the protection of assets, investing in inefficient production methods, weak infrastructure and low-skilled labour, and dealing with local frustrations and destructive rivalries between different tribal, political and ethnic groups.

Creating an environment attractive to investment necessitates a transformation of the economic system, security, governance, reconciliation, better provision of basic social services, and more effective management of competing political and socio-economic interests.