PM’s remarks on Senate chief spark protest

Published: March 29, 2018
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Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. PHOTO: FILE

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. PHOTO: FILE

QUETTA  : Demonstrators took to the streets of Quetta on Wednesday to demand an apology from Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi over his uncharitable remarks on new Senate chairman.

“The people of Balochistan take the PM’s statement as a challenge,” one of the protesters remarked, urging political parties to launch a no-trust motion against the prime minister.

Protests against the PM’s speech allegedly disgracing senate chairman continued for a second day in Balochistan’s capital city. Citizens led by political and tribal leaders held a rally from Quetta Metropolitan Corporation to Quetta Press Club.

Banners held in protest and slogans chanted by the demonstrators backed Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and opposed top PML-N leadership, including the premier.

PTI demands PM’s apology on Sanjrani remarks

Baloch leaders Qayyum Kakar, Alauddin Kakar, Ali Ahmed Reki, Arif Damar, Abdul Majeed, Taj Muhammad Rind and Allah Nazr made speeches before the protesters outside the press club.

“A prime minister who was chosen in Jati Umra has no right to insult a senate chairman who was elected with a majority vote,” the speakers said, declaring Abbasi’s speech as unethical.

They lamented that a prime minister claiming to represent 200 million people of the country had disheartened the people of Balochistan and disrespected the upper house of parliament.

The speakers asked the political parties to take notice of the PM’s speech and launch a no-trust motion against him. “Our province has been a subject of neglect for the past 70 years and the prime minister’s words against an elected senate chairman from Balochistan have rubbed salt into its wounds,” the leaders added.

The speakers said that Balochistan was a tribal province and that its citizens have always remained loyal to their traditions.
“It is for the first time in the country’s history that a Baloch was elected as Senate chairman,” leaders said, adding that this feat was pulled off thanks to the support of PPP, PTI, MQM and FATA parliamentarians.

“Political parties not only nominated our candidate but also ensured that they got enough votes to elect a Baloch for the top seat,” speakers said, adding that the people of the province sensed a great relief from deprivation and disappointment they have been subjected to since the country’s inception.

Sanjrani shadows

“PM’s words against senate chairman have humiliated the entire nation, including the people of Balochistan,” they said.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif himself had made Sadiq Sanjrani his Balochistan coordinator in 1998, they recalled.

“Nawaz’s preference for Sanjarani is on record,” the speakers said, “It is unfortunate that Nawaz Sharif refuses to accept him as Senate chairman.”

They demanded of the federal government to help eliminate illiteracy, unemployment and sense of deprivation from the province by playing constructive role along with the senate chairman.

The tribal leaders warned politicians not to make such statements against public representatives of Balochistan. “If the prime minister does not take back his words” the leaders warned, “our people will organize massive protests.”

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