Back-to-back walkouts mar proceedings

ANP Provincial ministers protest denial of right to speak on Punjab Assembly resolution in favour of Kalabagh Dam.


Shezad Baloch October 09, 2010

QUETTA: Two provincial ministers from the Awami National Party (ANP) staged a walkout from the Balochistan Assembly session on Friday after Speaker Aslam Bhootani did not allow them to speak on a Punjab Assembly resolution about the construction of the controversial Kalabagh Dam.

After recitation from the Holy Quran, Provincial Minister for Revenue Zamurk Khan Achakzai of the ANP raised the issue of Kalabagh Dam on a point of order. The speaker did not allow him to continue his speech and asked him to meet him in the speaker’s chamber to discuss the issue. However, Khan staged a walkout in protest. He ended his protest after his fellow ministers Sadiq Umrani and Ayinullah Shams persuaded him to return to the house.

Talking to journalists after the session, Khan said the Punjab Assembly did not take three provinces into confidence before passing a resolution on Kalabagh Dam. “We will oppose this move and will not allow anyone to construct this dam,” he added.

Last week, the Punjab Assembly passed a resolution urging the federal government to evolve a consensus on the construction of the reservoir.

However, Khan termed the resolution as a conspiracy against democracy. “The Punjab Assembly should not have passed the resolution at a time when the country is facing internal and external problems,” he said referring to the catastrophic floods and cross-border attacks by Nato forces.

He warned that any attempt to build the Kalabagh Dam would push the country towards a 1971-like situation. “We are not against the construction of dams but we will never allow the Kalabagh Dam to be built,” he added. Khan said his party would soon table a resolution in the Balochistan Assembly to oppose the construction of the dam.

PPP lawmaker Ali Madad Jatak also staged a walkout from the assembly after the speaker did not allow him to speak on his privilege motion.

“Excise, police and levies personnel intercepted my vehicle on the National Highway while I was returning from flood-hit Dera Murad Jamali in Jafarabad district. They searched my vehicles, documents and also misbehaved with me,” he said on a point of order before leaving the assembly hall.

Jatak alleged that his privilege was breached at the behest of the provincial government. “Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani and Provincial Minister Sadiq Umrani are politically victimising me,” he alleged.

The Balochistan Assembly also condemned the twin suicide attacks on the shrine of Sufi saint Abdullah Shah Ghazi in Karachi and also offered Fateh for the victims.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2010.

COMMENTS (5)

abdul jabbar | 11 years ago | Reply For GOD's sake leave this obnoxious politics on dams and moms.Be positive. Be Pakistani. You politicians, demolished the image of country. Your thoughts are bogus just like your fake degrees of academics.Kalabagh Dam is no any issue it is just a way to entangle the people so that they may not think about the real problems of the nation. the time is arriving in the near future when you will be asked for your conspiracies.
H-K Bangush | 11 years ago | Reply why the punjabi are thinking that only punjab is pakistani ? what about the other part of the country ? they are also pakistaniis. why they are so selfish just thinking about there 2 brother what about other pushtoon and sindhe no body asked about baluchistan ?why other part of pakistan cant get there right except the punjab ? dont ever think by mistake for the dam construction.u people are cheater
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