Seasoned Baloch Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo said on Wednesday that any ‘so called’ democratic set-up in Balochistan made up of those elected in 2008, supposedly with the help of the Military Intelligence (MI), will have disastrous repercussions for the province.
Speaking at the Senate proceedings, he said the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)-led government has planned to facilitate the formation of a Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) government in Balochistan, while the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) will take up the opposition slot.
“I have come to know that the PPP is giving a chance to the PML-Q to form the government and the JUI-F will play [the role of] the opposition party,” he said. “These MPAs who want to come into power again (in Balochistan) are basically the products of former dictator Musharraf and were elected by the MI. It will be a conspiracy against the province.”
Bizenjo said he has already warned the PPP to avoid this conspiracy for the good of the province.
“The objective of this strategy is to bring a caretaker chief minister of their choice and manipulate the coming elections again,” he added.
According to him, these people have created a mess in Balochistan and the key to its revival is to detach them from the system.
“I admit that governor’s rule is not the best choice for Baloch people, but there has been virtually no government in the province for the last five years,” he maintained. “Everyone was busy looting its resources. If the rulers had delivered, governor’s rule would not be required.” He questioned why not a single minister consoled the families of the victims of the bomb blasts if they believed in democracy.
Moreover, the senator noted that although the province has received Rs50 billion from the federal government during the past five years, only Rs1 billion was spent on development.
PML-Q Senator Mushahid Hussain supported the imposition of governor’s rule, saying that it was the “only option” given the situation.
Earlier, JUI-F Senator Maulana Ghafoor Haideri had criticised the PPP for removing the democratic government in Balochistan. “It is your choice whether to run the country or break it. If you want to run the country then you have to behave democratically,” he said.
Uproar in the House
The PPP and PML-N senators shouted at each other in a fight that started when PPP Senator Ijaz Dharma mocked the PML-N’s failed attempt to stage a sit-in in front of parliament to strengthen the election commission. He also referenced Dr Tahirul Qadri’s ‘successful’ dharna.
In response, PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan said it was interesting for the PPP to praise Qadri after calling him ‘Yazeed’ and ‘corrupt’. He even said it seemed as though the PPP leadership had invited Qadri to stage the dharna in Islamabad.
Khan maintained that the PML-N’s sit-in was symbolic. Furthermore, if Nawaz Sharif had made a single call to workers, Islamabad would have been flooded by party supporters.
The arguments escalated when Khan recalled the day of Benazir Bhutto’s death, and said that PPP leaders had fled the scene after the shooting, leaving the leader’s body behind.
PPP Senator Islamuddin Sheikh immediately demanded the words about Benazir Bhutto be taken back, but Khan refused.
Consequently, the deputy chairman of the Senate expunged the remarks and attempted to cool the men down. “The PML-N has also given sacrifices for democracy in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
PML-N representatives walked out after Mushahidullah Khan’s speech was interrupted.
During the proceedings, the House also offered the Fateha prayer for former chief minister of Balochistan, Jam Yousuf, and praised his services to democracy.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2013.