Abductions for ransom dominated the agenda at the Balochistan Assembly proceedings on Tuesday with a provincial lawmaker claiming that over a 1,000 people have been abducted in the past four years.
“Kidnapping for ransom has become a lucrative business in Balochistan and people are joining this business en masse as police and law enforcement agencies have failed to book a single culprit,” provincial agriculture minister Asadullah Baloch of BNP-Awami said.
Providing data collected by his party, Baloch said that as many as 1,047 people have been kidnapped during the past four years and all were freed after paying a huge sum of money as ransom to their kidnappers.
“The government allocated Rs10 billion for Frontier Corps (FC) and Rs8 billion for police in the budget but they failed to maintain public order,” he added.
Around six people were kidnapped from Saryab area of the Quetta during the past one month alone, said Minister for Communication Ali Madad Jatak of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.
The lawmakers urged the law enforcement agencies to at least improve the situation in the provincial capital where people are kidnapped in broad daylight on a daily basis.
Speaker Aslam Bhootani asked the provincial minister for finance Mir Asim Kurd to apprise Chief Minister Balochistan about the concerns of the provincial cabinet over the law and order situation in the province.
Verifying voter lists
A resolution seeking an extension in the deadline set by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for verifying electoral rolls was unanimously adopted by the house.
The resolution called upon the federal government to ask the ECP to extend the deadline for at least two months to ensure that the process is thorough.
The session was adjourned till March 22.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2012.