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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Opposition members call for Governor's Rule in Balochistan

05 October, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Federal ministers, PPP parliamentarians and opposition members unleashed severe criticism on the government for the continuous killing of members of the Hazara Shia community in Balochistan, demanding the imposition of governor's rule in the province and asking the federal government to resign.

Amidst the ruckus, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, who arrived late, did not utter a single word on the issue of the massacre of Shias in Balochistan. Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Riaz Pirzada who hails from PML-Q, PPP members Farahnaz Isphahani, Nadeem Afzal Chan, Nasir Ali Shah, Hamid Saeed Kazmi and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq (PML-N) and Bushra Gohar (ANP) grilled the federal and provincial governments and official agencies for their failure to control the target killing of Shias in Balochistan.

Fireworks began when PML-Q's Amir Muqaam Shamla said he had handed his resignation as a member of the federal cabinet to his party parliamentary leader and the prime minister (then present in the house) but it had not been accepted. He also demanded shifting his seat from the treasury to the opposition benches.

Federal Minister Riaz Pirzada said governor's rule should be imposed in Balochistan and Sindh because of the failure to control target killings and that the federal government should also resign if it could not arrest the deteriorating law and order situation.

"All security and intelligence agencies and institutions have failed to control the situation and arrest the culprits," said Pirzada. "The principle of self-accountability demands that the federal and provincial governments quit. Why are they not taking any concrete action against extremist and terrorist organisations in Balochistan and Punjab?" he said.

Riaz Pirzada, while demanding that the federal government resign, did not offer his own resignation as a cabinet member. Earlier, PPP member Farahnaz raised the issue of the Hazaras and said members of the community were being constantly targeted in Balochistan. She also asked the interior minister to take cognisance of the situation so that the killing of the innocent community could be stopped. Farahnaz recalled that 30 Shia devotees had been killed just a few days ago. "What are the Balochistan governor and chief minister doing in Islamabad? They should go to Balochistan and control the situation there," she said.

PPP parliamentarian Nasir Ali Shah who also hails from the Shia community, said he would not sit in the house and would continue to stage a protest in front of the Parliament House till governor's rule was imposed in Balochistan. "There is no need to constitute any commission; just impose governor's rule in the province," Nasir Shah said, before walking out of the house.

He also questioned why the provincial government, agencies and police had not been able to stop target killings and arrest killers. "There is no use of a government which cannot ensure the protection to the masses," he said. PPP's Nadeem Afzal Chan said the prime minister and the interior minister would have to explain the killing the Shia community in Balochistan. He warned the government to stop the target killings of Shias, otherwise they would have to turn to another country. "Arrest the situation before they look to some other country to help them deal with their grievances," he said.

An independent member from Balochistan, advocate Usman, alleged that some members of the Balochistan cabinet, MPAs and government agencies were involved in target killings. "Some Balochistan ministers and members of the provincial assembly are also involved in criminal acts of murder, robberies and kidnapping for ransom as also mentioned in the commission's report," he said, adding that target killers always took refugee in a circuit house and another building near the residence of FC Commandant Khazdar after committing crimes.

ANP's Bushra Gohar said some heads must roll and the Balohchistan governor and chief minister should resign and admit their failures.

PML-N's Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said the continuous killing of members of the Shia community in Balochistan had exposed that the federal and provincial governments had no writ in the province. "We do not believe in the assurances of Rehman Malik and the government which cannot expose and arrest the assassins of their chairperson Benazir Bhutto," he said.

Awais Leghari and Asiya Nasir also criticised the federal and provincial governments. "We will block the main highway from Punjab to Balochistan if the government does not stop the suspension of electricity to Dera Ghazi Khan from the grid station in Balochistan by some criminals there," said Leghari. He added that advocate Usman was right in saying that some Balochistan ministers and members were involved in killings and kidnapping for ransom cases.

End.

PAK TRIBUNE

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