ISLAMABAD: With the clamour from Balochistan increasing, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani presided over a high level meeting on Balochistan, emphasising that the writ of the government must be established, albeit within legal ambits, in the province and dialogue with disgruntled Baloch leaders be promoted.
“It is sincere intention of the government to create an enabling environment for dialogue with leadership of Balochistan,” Gilani said as he opened the meeting on Tuesday, adding that the government wanted to create a conducive environment for dialogue.
He said that the government has withdrawn a number of cases against political workers, who were not involved in serious crimes while noting that many missing persons had been recovered who had rejoined their families. The provincial government was directed to hold dialogue with politicians and nationalists.
The meeting at PM House was attended by Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani, federal ministers, Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Director General ISI Lt. General Muhammad Zaheerul Islam. Director General Intelligence Bureau Aftab Sultan and Inspector General, Balochistan Karar Hussain also attended the meeting.
Law and order
With enforced disappearances and the recovery of bullet riddled bodies a common complaint from Balochistan, Gilani received a briefing from Kayani over the security situation. The Prime Minsiter directed that the Army and Frontier Constabulary should work within their respective proscribed legal boundaries.
With the army formally recalled from Balochistan, the Frontier Constabulary was the chief active security agency in Balochistan, however, Gilani made it clear to Inspector General FC Balochistan, that its role was strictly to maintain law and order, for which it will take directions and guidance from the Chief Minister.
Information Qamar Zaman Kaira later briefing media persons, said that a six member steering committee has been formed to evaluate the situation in Balochistan and address the issue of missing persons, presenting weekly reports to the Prime Minister.
“Under the plan, law and order would be restored in urban areas in the first phase and Quetta city would be termed as a model city,” Kaira told reporters.
Meanwhile, General Kayani defended the army, saying whatever actions that had been taken were aimed at defending the integrity of the country and it would continue to play its role. He reassured that the army and the FC would remain within their proscribed legal role and no excesses would be allowed.
Economic deprivation a the most frequent complaint, Prime Minister said the government had introduced the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package in November 2009 and recommended 61 constitutional, administrative, economic and political reforms. A committee of the Cabinet headed by Senator Raza Rabbani was formed for the implementation of these reforms with the mandate to prepare practical recommendations for bringing the people of Balochistan into mainstream, to meet needs of the province to end its sense of deprivation and give a review of the situation.
Since, it has been given a unanimous approval and a large part of the package been implemented under the 18th Amendment.
“We want to bring stability and prosperity in Balochistan and in consultation with the leadership of Balochistan, we will implement the remaining packagefor the province.”
On the demand of raising share of Balochistan in the NFC Award, it had been increased from 5.1 per cent to 9.09 per cent, GIlani said, adding that Rs1 billion was allocated for the rehabilitation of homeless people in Dera Bugti, while Rs120 million has been paid to homeless people in Maulaband area.
Later, Kaira said that the government had provided 5000 jobs to Balochistan youth and it would fund their salaries for five years instead of three years as previously announced.
The information minister added that the prime minister had directed the finance minister to pay the amount for the federal government’s share to be given in subsidy for tube wells. Funds would also be allocated for two dams in the upcoming budget, while Kachhi Canal would also be completed this year and funds in this regard would be provided.
He said that funds would also be provided for making Gwadar Port operational while Rato Dero-Gwadar Road would also be completed.
The ministers and advisors, who attended the meeting, included Minister for Science and Technology Changez Khan Jamali, Minister for Law and Justice Farooq Naek, Minister for National Food Security and Research Mir Israrullah Zehri, Minister for Postal Services Sardar Umer Gorgeij, Advisor to Prime Minister on Human Rights Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Senator Raza Rabbani, Minister for Defence Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Minister for Religious Affairs Khursheed Shah.
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