Balochistan 'finally' takes notice of missing assembly committees

Published: April 2, 2012

Provincial ministers raised their voice for the constitution of standing committees in the provincial assembly to scrutinize legislations passed by the house. PHOTO: FILE

QUETTA: “Often legislation are passed by the House but we are unaware about the details,” complained Balochistan Minister for Agriculture Asad Baloch, during a sparsely attended Balochistan Assembly session, hinting towards the fact that the house had functioned for four years without any standing committees.

The minister remarked that after the provincial Finance Minister Mir Asim Kurd had tabled the annual monitoring report of the National Finance Commission from July to December 2010 in the house on Monday, he was completely blank and did not know what the Finance Minister had tabled.

His complaints received support from other provincial ministers, raised their voice for the constitution of standing committees in the provincial assembly to scrutinise legislations passed by the house.

Provincial Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Captain (R) Khaliq Achakzai stood up and took the floor on a point of order and said, “Government has failed to constitute standing committees despite the lapse of four years. This must be done as soon as possible.”

Speaker Aslam Bhootani, presiding over the session, informed the members that the Law Department had taken up the matter with the Chief Minister and soon the committees will be formed.

Commenting on approval of leave applications by 25 lawmakers, Provincial Law Minister Abdul Rehman Jamali raised objections, saying, “All the members are not busy, therefore, there must be a check and members should be bound to attend scheduled sessions.”

As few as 19 out of 65 members were in attendance during Monday’s scheduled session.

Lyari operation condemned

Meanwhile, the agriculture minister, who is also a Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP-A) leader, strongly condemned the ongoing search operation in Lyari. “I do not support criminals but in order to arrest a few people, police and law enforcement agencies had held the people of Lyari hostage. This is injustice and I as a Baloch feel that Baloch people are being deliberately targeted.” he told the house.

He added that the Lyari operation is akin to the police taking action in Balochistan’s Saryab area, after a major incident, just because it was dominated by Baloch people. In Karachi, the police believe all the criminals are living in Lyari.

Violence in Balochistan

Speaking on a point of order, Jamiat-e-Ulema-Nazriati (JUI-N) leader Abdul Khaliq Bashar Dost directed the attention of the house towards the worsening law and order situation in the province. He said that several religious scholars had been gunned down in the fresh spate of targeted killings in Quetta.

“Religious, political and tribal leaders are being targeted to create unrest in the province. Government should foil this conspiracy,” he said.

The session was adjourned till April 5, 2012.

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Reader Comments (1)

  • Falcon
    Apr 3, 2012 - 8:40AM

    Well. Finally they have started paying attention to mechanisms of better decision making such as assembly committees. In fact Fahad Hussain had written an op-ed in ET on the issue few days ago. I think that worked. Media’s work needs to be applauded for bringing this gap to light.

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