The Balochistan government has constituted a high-level parliamentary committee to implement the rulings of the Supreme Court in a case regarding the fluid security situation in the province “in letter and spirit” after a crucial meeting in Islamabad.
However, a number of the provincial cabinet members – including Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)’s provincial president Mir Muhammad Sadiq Umrani – boycotted the meeting, officials familiar with the development told The Express Tribune.
The Supreme Court in its order regarding Balochistan’s law and order case had observed that the provincial government had failed to enforce the Constitution in the province. The apex court had also questioned the provincial government’s legitimacy to run government affairs.
“The meeting decided to constitute a high-powered committee under the chairmanship of the Balochistan chief minister … to oversee the measures taken thus far,” said an official statement issued by the Directorate General of Public Relations Balochistan on Monday.
The meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani at the Balochistan House in Islamabad and other senior parliamentary groups of Balochistan were in attendance.
It was revealed that the meeting was unanimous in deciding to implement the apex court rulings in letter and spirit and had already decided to take concrete measures to improve law and order in the province. The gathering also decided to ensure the writ of law and Constitution in the province.
The high-powered committee will ensure regular contacts with the federal government and concerned officials to seek federal assistance for Balochistan’s projects. The parliamentary body will meet every Monday, starting with its first meeting on November 26.
The committee which will comprise provincial home minister, chief secretary, inspector general of the Frontier Corps, home secretary, inspector general of the Frontier Constabulary, and the inspector general police of Balochistan would also keep a close liaison with the federal government, holding meetings with relevant authorities in order to seek federal assistance as and when required.
The newly-formed body also dispelled impressions of any wrongdoings in the ongoing development schemes in the province and decided to involve the auditor general of Pakistan in the case. The decision came after detailed deliberations with law affairs secretary and the advocate general of Balochistan who briefed the senior parliamentary leaders.
The meeting was also briefed by a team of legal experts comprising Advocate Khawaja Haris and Advocate Shahid Hamid on the legal and constitutional aspects in the wake of the Supreme Court order.
Political observers, however, believe that it’s an apparent move to prolong the incumbent set-up. But they have a unanimous opinion that the division among cabinet members will create problems for the sitting chief minister in near future.
Earlier on Sunday, over two dozens cabinet members came to Islamabad to attend the parliamentary group meeting after the Balochistan cabinet passed a resolution expressing complete trust in Raisani’s leadership.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2012.