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Monday, October 17, 2011

MPs worried about Balochistan unrest

By: Bari Baloch | Published: October 18, 2011
QUETTA - Legislators raised their concerns over violence across the province at the Balochistan Assembly Monday, calling for stepping up efforts to maintain law and order.
The Balochistan Assembly session started with its Deputy Speaker Matiullah Agha in the chair. The lawmakers warned that the situation would deteriorate if practical steps were not taken to maintain the government’s writ. A legislator criticised the violation of Pakistani airspace by Nato in Qila Abdul district of Balochistan and demanded the federal government take notice. Speaking on a point of order, Agriculture Minister Asad Baloch condemned the murder of PMA Balochistan chapter president Mazar Khan Baloch in Quetta. “Our people are being targeted but the culprits are at large,” he added.
Supporting his point, PPP provincial minister Jan Ali Chengezai condemned the killing of members of Hazara community, saying the police were playing the role of a silent spectator. “Several people of Hazara community fell prey to targeted killings and bomb blast on Eidul Fitr but no culprit has been arrested so far” he said, adding that police had handed over the city to killers. He said they had met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and apprised him about the situation but this was the responsibility of provincial government to ensure peace.
Other lawmakers, including Ali Madad Jattak, Syed Ehsan Shah Perven Magsi, Shah Nawaz Marri, Mir Sadiq Umrani, Jaffar Khan Mandokhail and Engineer Zamrak Khan condemned the attack on the convoy of PML-N minister Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, saying targeting tribal chieftains was against the local traditions.
They expressed their concerns over the targeted killing of Shias and recovery of decomposed bodies, saying that the government was paying millions of rupees to law enforcement agencies for the security of people but to no avail.
They rapped the law enforcement agencies for, what they called, their failure in maintaining the government’s writ across the province. “There is no sectarian violence. Some forces are trying to fan hatred by such acts,” they said and called for holding public meetings of political and nationalist parties at divisional level to thwart such plots.
Concluding debate on law and order, senior provincial minister from JUI-F Maulana Abdul Wasay said people from every walk of life were being targeted, posing a question mark on the performance of law enforcement agencies.
He pointed to foreign hand in escalating unrest across the province, saying that his party had already shown their concerns over interference of America in Pakistan’s affair some 10 years ago but they were criticised and declared supporters of Taliban. “Now the US is hurling blames on our army and agencies,” he said, adding that his party rejected the plan to open the US consulate in Quetta. He asked the chief minister to devise a comprehensive strategy to maintain law and order.
Speaking on another point of order, provincial minister and leader of Awami National Party Engineer Zamarak Khan said Nato helicopters and jets were continuously violating Pakistani airspace by making flights inside Balochistan.
Citing the recent violation, he said a Nato helicopter Sunday made very low flight for about 20 minutes in Qila Abdullah district, creating panic among the people. “Nato and America through different tactics want to carry out attacks,” he added.
He asked the provincial government to contact the federal government to take up the issue with Nato authorities. The issue confronting a private TV channel and cattle smuggling also came under discussion during the session.


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