Reaching out to disgruntled Baloch leaders, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf renewed offers for dialogue with his government on Friday to find amicable solutions to Balochistan’s woes.
“Only dialogue and constructive talks can steer the province out of the prevailing crisis,” he said while addressing a provincial cabinet meeting on the province’s law and order situation. PM Ashraf held the ‘anti-Baloch’ policies of Pakistan’s past dictatorial regimes as directly responsible for the deteriorating situation. He also claimed that both external and internal forces were also involved in the unrest.
While maintaining that the use of force was not the solution, the premier categorically rejected dialogue with those supporting the country’s breakup.
Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani, present at the meeting, echoed the former’s statement saying “those raising slogans for the creation of Pakhtunistan, Azad Balochistan and Sindhu Desh are misleading the country’s people.”
PM Ashraf directed the meeting’s participants to appoint capable and well-reputed senior law enforcement officials in Balochistan to improve the province’s law and order situation.
“There should be teamwork between the Balochistan government, sensitive institutions and law enforcement agencies to restore peace in the province,” he added.
Gwadar water supply
Separately, the PM directed Pakistan Navy officials to make arrangements for the supply of water from the Mirani Dam to Gwadar and increase Ankra Dam’s storage capacity.
The PN delegation, which called on the premier at the Balochistan Governor House on Friday, briefed him regarding short- and long-term plans to resolve the water crisis in Gwadar and other areas of the Makran Division.
Ashraf asked navy officials to prepare a feasibility report on the proposed water projects for Gwadar. He added that the Federal Government will provide all-out assistance, including financial aid, for the provision of adequate water to Gwadar.
A delegation of the Balochistan Zamindar Action Committee also called on the PM. Ashraf said the government would bear half the expenditure for the installation of solar energy tube-well projects in the province.
“The federal government has been subsidising the 15,660 agricultural tube-wells in Balochistan and will continue this subsidy in the future,” he told the delegation.
(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP)
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2012.
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