Govt to eliminate ‘trust deficit’ with Baloch people


Shahzad Baloch June 08, 2010

QUETTA: The government will eliminate the “trust deficit” with the people of Balochistan by smoothly implementing the Balochistan package, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani promised on Monday.

Addressing a news conference at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, the prime minister said the government is trying to counter the sense of deprivation that has developed in Balochistan over the past 63 years. “The Aghaz-e-Huqooq-e-Balochistan Package is a sincere initiative to address the longstanding grievances of the neglected province,” he said.

Promises for the National Finance Commission award have been fulfilled, and the issues of gas royalties to the province has been addressed in the 18th amendment, the PM said, adding that the concurrent list had been abolished.

Gilani said he will call a meeting of all four chief ministers  soon to formulate a strategy regarding the implementation of the 18th amendment and devolution of powers.

Speaking on the flood-affected coastal region, Gilani said the chairman of the Disaster Management Authority has been sent to the area and law-enforcement agencies are carrying out relief work. “The government will take every possible step to help the cyclone victims,” he said.

Meanwhile, the prime minister said a judicial commission has been formed for the recovery of missing persons and the chief secretary had been asked to submit a report about it. “There are some lists which are incomplete so everyone had not been identified,” Gilani said, adding that he would stay in the province for a longer duration during his next visit and visit remote areas to ascertain the problems of the people.  Gilani said employment letters for 5,000 people in Balochistan will be issued in a few weeks time. The government has created 5,400 jobs for the people of the province, in which women will be given a separate quota, he said.

Separately, addressing Command and Staff College in Quetta, Prime Minister Gilani called for a composite dialogue between Pakistan and India to resolve all disputes, including Kashmir, water and terrorism issues.  “Pakistan seeks negotiated and peaceful resolutions to all disputes with India,” Gilani said. He maintained that the Indian leadership has also agreed to initiate composite dialogue on all controversial issues between the two countries.

“Pakistan wants peaceful relations with the neighbouring countries including Afghanistan, Iran and India. India should sit with us to initiate a dialogue to resolve all important issues including Kashmir, the water dispute and terrorism,” Gilani said.

He said that Pakistan expects the US to be indiscriminate in civil nuclear deal with Islamabad. “We have concluded a dialogue with the US government on strategic issues,” he said, adding that Pakistan values long term strategic relations with the US.

Meanwhile, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, during his visit to a boy’s hostel established by the army in Quetta, said the army is assisting the Balochistan government in promoting education in the province. “Keeping in view the backwardness of Balochistan, the army is determined to help the province,” he said. He said the army is providing all possible financial support to poor people in remote areas of Balochistan, to help them study at good educational institutes in the country. (With additional input from APP)

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