Opposition rejects bill on Gwadar University

Complain about not being invited to APA


Mohammad Zafar October 31, 2018
Balochistan Assembly. PHOTO: EXPRESS

QUETTA: The opposition in the Balochistan Assembly on Tuesday rejected a treasury bill for the establishment of Gwadar University for which Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced Rs1 billion.

The assembly witnessed uproar as Pashtunkhwa Mili Awami Party (PkMAP) leader Nasrullah Khan Zeray opposed the bill – presented by Minister for Information and Higher Education Mir Zahoor Buledi – arguing that the opposition could not review the bill as it was not informed in advance.

Zeray said the proposed law contained several flaws, and should be transferred to a special committee of the house, comprising members both from the treasury and opposition benches.

In his reaction, Buledi – the mover of the bill – urged the opposition not to create hurdles to the establishment of the university for which the PM had announced Rs1 billion and land had been allocated.

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He said that after huge efforts “we succeeded in including the educational project in the Public Sector Development Programme of the province”. Further delays might lapse the federal government’s funds, he cautioned.

Speaking on the floor of the house, Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) leader Sanaullah Baloch said the opposition was in favour of the bill, but wanted the legal flaws in the bill undone.

The opposition, meanwhile, complained about ‘sidelining’ the provincial assembly from the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) meeting going on in Gwadar.

“This august house is the legislative body of our province, and the [federal] government should have invited the members of this assembly [to APA] as they could have better described Balochistan to the delegates of 26 countries,” he said. “We didn’t even get invitations from the federal government,” he added.

To this, Chief Minister Jam Kamal briefed the house that the APA was the initiative of Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani. He chose the venue because of his association with Balochistan, he said.

“I agree to the demand of the opposition,” the CM said, adding that the provincial government was asked to ensure security of the delegates.

The opposition also rejected the draft bill for appointment of special assistant to Balochistan CM, calling the move an extra burden on the exchequer.

Speaking to the media outside the assembly, the opposition members said they could not support a law “that is not in the interest of the people of Balochistan”.

Opposition Leader in the Assembly Malik Sikander said three draft bills were tabled in the assembly on Tuesday, but “we can’t accept a law that causes burden on the province’s finances” and “favour a few”.

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