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Cabinet body to present report on Aug 15; Kaira says slogan of independence not popular in Balochistan; Zardari has apologised for past injustices to Baloch
 
 
Sunday, August 12, 2012
From Print Edition
 
 

 

QUETTA: The cabinet sub-committee on Balochistan, which is on a visit to the provincial capital to hold meetings with stakeholders and senior officials to review the situation, will submit its interim report to the federal cabinet on August 15.

 

This was stated by chairman of the committee Syed Naveed Qamar while talking to media persons on Saturday after the day-long intensive discussions with different stakeholders in a bid to get their input on the way forward.

 

The committee held extensive discussions with representatives of different political parties, bar associations and traders’ associations on the historical perspective of the situation and the ground realities.

 

Syed Naveed Qamar, who was accompanied by other members of the committee, said they had a free and frank exchange of views on the law and order situation, the issue of missing persons and the implementation status of NFC, Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan and job opportunities, especially for educated youth.

 

He said the committee would meet more people to formulate concrete recommendations for submission to the federal cabinet.

 

He said the present government took a number of initiatives but acknowledged that these were not enough to take care of the sense of deprivation spreading over 60 years.

 

Earlier in the day, the committee members held a meeting with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP).

 

However, the National Party and Balochistan National Party (BNP) boycotted the meeting. President National Party Dr Abdul Malik Baloch said that members of his party would not meet the cabinet committee on Balochistan as previously three to four committees were formed and they held talks with them but they were of no use.

 

A leader of BNP Hassan Baloch said his party has boycotted the committee meeting because they are responsible for missing persons and the recovery of mutilated bodies in the province. “They have committed more excesses than the Musharraf regime. They are helpless people and have no mandate,” he said.

 

Earlier, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira told media persons at Quetta airport that the cabinet’s special committee on Balochistan would focus on finding a durable solution to provincial issues.

 

He was accompanied by Minister for Law Farooq H Naek and Minister for Postal Services Sardar Umar Gorgaij.

 

The information minister said that after consultation with all stakeholders, the committee would finalise its recommendations before placing these proposals before the federal cabinet.

 

“When the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) came into power, it had to tackle many problems including terrorism in certain parts of the country,” Kaira said. “We will have to review what we can do to resolve the issue,” he said, adding that the government would hold talks with estranged Baloch leaders living in the province as well as those who were currently abroad.

 

Kaira said that President Asif Ali Zardari had apologised to the people of Balochistan for all the injustices committed by previous governments, so as to ensure the establishment of good ties between the federation and the provinces. He also expressed the hope for a swift normalisation of the situation in the province.

 

Kaira dispelled the impression that the government had done little to help resolve the issues in the province. He told reporters that the PPP government had presented an Aghaz-e-Huqooq-e-Balochistan package to remove the sense of deprivation of the people of the province.

 

He said the slogan for independence from Pakistan was only being raised by a handful of people in Balochistan, and it was not a popular demand in the province.

 

The minister said that the government would address the issues of those raising the slogan for secession.

 

The information minister was later briefed by the Balochistan home secretary and IGP on the law and order situation in the province.