Cabinet set to discuss Balochistan issue tomorrow
The Federal Cabinet would meet on Thursday (tomorrow) to discuss the Balochistan issue in the light of recommendations formulated by the special ministerial committee headed by the Minister for Defence, Syed Naveed Qamar. The Defence Minister told the National Assembly here on Tuesday in response to concerns voiced by parliamentarians speaking at points of order on private members' day.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012
On Tuesday, none of the 36 agenda items listed for orders of the day were taken up: the entire sitting was conducted through points of order. Naveed Qamar informed the House that the special committee would submit its report formulated after extensive consultations with the sitting government in Balochistan and other stakeholders. The Minister also sought additional inputs, if any, on Balochistan issue to alleviate the people's problems.
Members of the assembly expressed concerns over the prevailing situation in Karachi‚ Balochistan and tribal areas. A member from Balochistan, Usman Khan, criticised the provincial government for its failure to improve the law and order situation in the province and called for imposing governor's rule to curb unrest. He drew the National Assembly's attention towards a report submitted by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) to the Supreme Court which said that tribal chiefs were patronising armed groups involved in kidnapping and killings in the province.
Citing the HRCP report, Usman said that the crime rate was spiking in the province despite the presence of various security agencies, including the FC. Stressing the need for imposing governor rule, he said that it was the only solution to the law and order problem in Balochistan, adding that the incumbent provincial government had failed to deliver.
Highlighting the need for dealing with everyone involved in criminal activities in Balochistan with an "iron hand", he said that if the situation was allowed to persist, it might lead to repetition of similar to the one which created Bangledesh.
A PPP MNA from Balochistan Nasir Ali Shah agreed with Usman's point of view and said that increasing incidents of targeted killings in Balochistan had created an environment of terror in cities across the province. Sajid Ahmad of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) said innocent people were being killed in Karachi because of political and religious affiliations. He said action should be taken against elements behind such nefarious acts. Hameedullah Jan Afridi from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) urged the government to take parliamentarians from tribal areas on board to chalk out a strategy for resolving problems in tribal regions.