KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf have decided to re-establish lines of communications with disgruntled Baloch leaders, in an effort to stabilise the situation in restive Balochistan province.
President Zardari, who returned to Pakistan on Wednesday, went into a huddle with Premier Ashraf, Law Minister Farooq H Naek and Barrister Wasim Sajjad at the Bilawal House in Karachi.
The meeting decided to immediately form a committee for this purpose which will work under the direct supervision of the prime minister, sources said, adding that the committee will comprise Balochistan’s governor and senior members of the federal Cabinet.
The committee will finalise its recommendations within a month, sources added. The government will expedite the development process in the volatile province and provide special funds to solve basic problems faced by the people of Balochistan.
According to sources, the meeting also discussed the draft of the Swiss letter, which is to be written and presented by Naek before the Supreme Court on October 5.
A one-on-one meeting was held earlier in the day between the prime minister and the president at the Bilawal House, where they also discussed the revival of cases shelved under the NRO, and the Swiss letter.
Presidential spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said the president briefed the premier about his visit to New York where he raised the issue of the anti-Islam film at the 67thannual session of the UN General Assembly.
The president also apprised the prime minister of his meetings with world leaders on the sidelines of the session. According to Babar, the prime minister briefed the president on the situation in Balochistan, the current energy and law and order situation among other issues.
In their meeting with the president, Federal Law Minister Farooq H Naek and former chairman Senate Wasim Sajjad divulged the draft of the Swiss letter.
Separately, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah also met the president and briefed him on the situation in Sindh.
Inspector General Police Fayyaz Leghari was also summoned to Bilawal House who briefed the president on recent violence in the city following a strike call issued by Sindhi nationalists, and other incidents in Karachi.
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Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2012.