Opposition MPs, police engage in verbal spat in Quetta

Journalists stopped from proceeding towards Bijli Road police station


Mohammad Zafar July 03, 2021

QUETTA:

Opposition leader and other members of the Balochistan Assembly and police on Friday engaged in a verbal spat on Zarghoon Road, Quetta after the latter prevented them from holding a news conference at the Bijli Road police station.

The police also stopped journalists belonging to the print and electronic media from proceeding towards the station.

Police officials were of the view that they had received instructions from the higher authorities that opposition leader Malik Sikandar Khan, provincial Public Accounts Committee Chairman Akhtar Hussain Langau and MPA Zabid Ali Reki had reached Zarghoon Road and they were to stop them from reaching the station.

The opposition lawmakers asked the police to let the media pass for the coverage of the event.

Read more: Balochistan police refuse to arrest opposition MPAs

However, when the police refused, the opposition MPs and the Bijli Road SHO, Civil Lines SHO, SP and other officials exchanged bitter words.

Later, opposition leader Sikandar spoke to the media on Zarghoon Road.

"For two days now, visitors and journalists have been barred from entering the police station,” he maintained.

“The police are working as a tool of Chief Minister Jam Kamal. We have asked the police to arrest us," he said.

The opposition leader said the opposition’s movement started on May 19. “We were attacked with armored vehicles on June 18,” he added.

He also claimed that attempts had been made to kill opposition MPAs.

"We make it clear that if a single MPA survives, they will also launch a movement against corruption and malpractices of the present [provincial] government,” Sikandar said.

He claimed that five government delegations had assured them that the FIR against opposition MPAs would be withdrawn but four days had passed and a notification about it had not been issued.

"Now we have refused to talk to any government delegation. We will continue our protest," opposition leader said.

He said the police were committing atrocities. “However, the Supreme Court and the high court have ordered that police officers should not comply with any illegal order.”

Sikandar said CM Kamal had given orders to “crush the opposition”.

“Gone are the years when the police and the administration could continue their harassment. We will go on a hunger strike until death and the next step of our movement will come as a surprise to the government.”

In response to a question, he said the chief minister had tried to make it appear as if there was a rift in the opposition. “We [opposition] are united and will remain undivided.”

Speaking on the occasion, PAC Chairman Langau said the police were being used for political purposes and bullying.

"Police are pushing the elected members of the assembly. We will not refrain from going on a hunger strike against the behaviour of the police," he added.

Also read: Balochistan MPAs injured in clash with police

MPAs Asghar Ali Tareen, Ahmad Nawaz Baloch and former provincial minister Ainullah Shams were also present on the occasion.

A day earlier, the police had issued a notification according to which during the course of the investigation, “apparently contradiction of evidence was available against the MPAs”.

Therefore, their names were “being discharged from the FIR on the completion of codal formalities accordingly”, it read.

However, opposition lawmaker Sanaullah Baloch said in a message on Twitter that the notice issued by the police was a progress report in which the MPAs had been discharged under Section 169. “We categorically refuse to leave the police station till total withdrawal of the FIR as directed in the assembly ruling,” he said.

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