QUETTA: Pakistani airspace has once again been violated by Nato forces, the Awami National Party (ANP) informed the Balochistan Assembly on Monday while condemning the incident.
Raising the issue on a point of order, ANP member and Provincial Minister for Revenue Zamurk Khan added that the violation had taken place over Qila Abdullah, a district along the Pak-Afghan border. The space was trespassed upon, he said, when Nato forces jets flew at a low height for close to 20 minutes two days ago near Chaman.
“It is not the first time that Nato and international alliance forces have violated airspace in Balochistan. This frequent violation is creating fear and panic among the people living in the area,” he told the house. “The people assume that these airspace violations are an indication from Nato forces that they will soon launch an airstrike in their own districts,” he added. The US should be prevented from infringing on Pakistan’s sovereignty and the government must take action, he said.
Law and order
The breach of airspace was not the only issue on the agenda, however. The prevailing law and order situation also dominated the session during which lawmakers, and particularly the senior minister, criticised law enforcement agencies for their failure to prevent attacks on the governor, chief minister and several provincial ministers.
The legislators condemned the Balochistan Liberation Front attempt to assassinate Provincial Minister for Services and General Administration Department’s Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, the targeted killing of the Hazara community and the recent killing of Dr Mazar Khan Baloch, president of the Pakistan Medical Association.
Provincial Minister for Quality Education Jan Ali Changezi, a member of the Hazara community, expressed frustration and anger at how Hazaras were being killed with complete immunity. “The inadequate security measures in the city give rise to speculation that police have handed over the city to killers,” he said. Member of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Maulana Wasay on the other hand blamed foreign elements for creating unrest in Balochistan by attacking high-level government officials.
TV channel funding
Provincial ministers Sardar Aslam Bezinjo and Eshan Shah drew the attention of the house towards the Balochi News Channel Wash, which according to them is suffering from a financial crisis and on the brink of closure. It is the only Balochi channel that is being neglected by the federal government even while distributing official advertisements, they said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2011.