Newly appointed: Balochistan’s interim chief minister takes oath

Published: March 24, 2013
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Ghous Bakhsh Barozai plans to induct 10 to 20 ministers into his cabinet.

Ghous Bakhsh Barozai plans to induct 10 to 20 ministers into his cabinet.

QUETTA: 

Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Barozai took oath as Balochistan’s caretaker chief minister on Saturday in a ceremony held at the Governor House.

Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi administered the oath. Former provincial chief minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani, ex-speaker Matiullah Agha, delegations of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, JUI, Balochistan National Party, FC Inspector General Major General Ubaidullah Khan Khattak, inspector general of police, former members of the National Assembly and the provincial legislatures, tribal leaders and other civil and military officials participated in the ceremony.

Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Barozai was nominated interim chief minister by former chief minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani and leader of opposition Nawabzada Tariq Magsi on Thursday.

After taking oath, Barozai said that conducting free and fair elections in Balochistan were his first priority.

“All decisions will be based on merit,” said Barozai. “There is no writ of government in the province and its restoration is also among my priorities. I will announce my cabinet soon, around 10 to 20 ministers can be inducted in my cabinet,” he said.

Barozai denied that the Balochistan government’s decision was dictated by the establishment or the Pakistan Army. “I was selected by the assembly and political parties as caretaker CM and I am thankful,” he said.

He added that security problems in Lahore and Karachi were greater than in Balochistan, but since his province has a “tribal culture, that’s why incidents are shown more and highly inflated here.” Responding to a question on negotiations with nationalists seeking liberation, he replied, “There is a roadmap in my mind for the restoration of peace in Balochistan and I am ready to talk with anyone to achieve peace in the province.”

Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi has said that the caretaker setup has been formed and therefore the responsibility now falls on them to maintain law and order while conducting fair elections.

“Whether I remain governor or not, I stick to the standpoint that whatever mutilated corpses are being received must end.” He said this while talking to the media after the oath-taking ceremony. Governor Magsi added that he would offer his opinion if anyone sought advice from him.

He said that whether the previous government was good or bad, it would be decided by people in the election and the decision should be left to the people whom they would select in the election.

Chief of Sarawan and former chief minister of Balochistan Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani has said that they are satisfied with their five-year tenure serving the people of Balochistan.

“Five months earlier my membership in the PPP was cancelled now I am free to do whatever I want,” said Raisani. “My stand on the point of Reko Diq is the same as it was before, I was out of the country when Gwadar was handed over to China from the Singapore Port Authority.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2013. 

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