‘No reason’ for MPAs to continue protest in Quetta

Balochistan ruling coalition accuses opposition of forcibly trying to include schemes in PSDP


Mohammad Zafar July 03, 2021

QUETTA:

Members of the Balochistan Assembly belonging to the ruling coalition parties on Saturday said they could not understand why the opposition lawmakers were continuing their protest despite their names being removed from the FIR lodged by police for the unrest outside the parliament building last month.

ANP parliamentary leader Asghar Khan Achakzai and Provincial Revenue Minister Mir Saleem Khosa while addressing a news conference in Quetta claimed that opposition members wanted to forcibly have their schemes included in the provincial Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

They were accompanied by Provincial Communication and Works Minister Mir Arif Jan Muhammad Hassani and Quetta Development Authority Chairman Mobeen Khilji.

Achakzai said keeping in view the historic struggle for the supremacy of the Constitution, democracy and parliament by the opposition parties, it was unfortunate that their members were adopting “undemocratic practices” and taking matters to the streets instead of parliament.

"Opposition parties have been in governments in the past and they have run the province. If they have an objection to the budget, they should discuss it in parliament and point out our shortcomings, but they have adopted undemocratic methods," he added.

 “Even after the removal of their names [from the FIR], they are still sitting in the [Bijli] police station.”

He said that it was the duty of the government to take the opposition parties along.

“But they [opposition parties] should not consider themselves as the government and only point out our mistakes.”

He added that the opposition parties were in the PSDP courts for six to seven months last year despite settlement with the government.

"Everyone saw what was done that day [when the opposition parties staged a protest outside the assembly building]. Someone tried to climb over the wall and others broke pots and threw stones but nobody was arrested,” he maintained.

“Today even if the FIR is completely abolished, the opposition members will raise another demand. We are ready to hold these camera sessions to allay the reservations of the opposition," he added.

Achakzai said the government was ready to talk with the opposition on withdrawing the cases.

Responding to a question, Achakzai said that he was in favour of an inquiry against those who broke the assembly gate through an armored vehicle and action should be taken if security personnel were found involved.

Speaking on the occasion, Revenue Minister Khosa said the opposition wanted to forcibly include their schemes in the provincial PSDP even though the government had carried out equal development work in all constituencies.

In response, Malik Sikandar, the opposition leader in the Balochistan Assembly, said not a single proposal of the opposition MPAs was included in PSDP.

The opposition leader, accompanied by other MPAs, held a news conference outside the police station.

Sikandar said provincial ministers had hidden the “real facts” in their news conference.

"We are not bullying, instead we have offered police to arrest us. Our movement is to end corruption, commission mafia and the law of the jungle," he added.

Speaking on the occasion, MPA Sanaullah Baloch said Rs9 billion in agriculture funds had been set aside for scams.

“The ANP is resorting to lies to protect its ministries and scams,” he added.

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