QUETTA: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Sunday night invoked Article 234 of the Constitution and announced the imposition of governor’s rule in Balochistan province after sacking the government of Sardar Aslam Raisani from today (Monday).
The prime minister announced this during his visit to the Punjabi Imambargah at Alamdar Road to express solidarity with the families of Thursday’s bombing victims.The prime minister held negotiations with the Hazara elders. The Hazara community leaders presented their demands to end their sit-in in Quetta city.
The Quetta Yakjehti Council leader Qayyum Changezi demanded of the government to arrest the culprits of the brutal killings of Hazara people, saying that Interior Minister Rehman Malik had announced on the floor of the National Assembly that he knew who was committing terrorist activities in Quetta.
He said that children were also among the victims.He demanded of the government to provide complete security to the Hazara traders, students and other leaders during their movement in the city.
The prime minister said that he was at a loss for words to express his grief at the tragic incidents of Quetta, adding the entire country was engaged in fighting terrorism.
He said that he had consulted all the politicians, including PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif, MQM chief Altaf Hussain, PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan on the law and order situation in Balochistan.
He said that before taking any major decision the government has to act according to the proper procedure. He said that the compensation money for all the Hazara victims will be paid by January 31. He also ordered the Balochistan chief secretary to take care of the injured and that all the expenditure for the treatment of the injured would be born by the federal government.
During the announcement, the Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) leader Allama Nasir Abbas reiterated the demand for calling the army in Quetta city, saying that the Frontier Constabulary (FC) had failed to control the situation. He asked why the army was not being called out in the city.
To this the premier said that he had talked to the chief of army staff and corps commander, and all the forces will be at the disposal of the governor to assist him to control the situation. However, the Hazara community elders said that they would continue their sit-in till the notification of governor’s rule is issued and all their demands are met practically.
Muhammad Ejaz Khan adds: Earlier, after the arrival of the prime minister, a new team of government negotiators, comprising Sardar Muhammad Umar Gorage and Changez Jamali, met the elders of the Hazara tribe who were sitting in the protest for three days on Sunday afternoon. However, no conclusive decision could be reached as the Hazara community’s protestors did not budge on their demand for handing over Quetta city to the army.
The Hazara tribesmen demanded of the government to provide security to them through the army, and nothing else.During the negotiations, it was learnt that the Hazara elders, including the Quetta Yakjehti Council, were adamant for their demand and refused to end their sit-in as the visiting federal ministers, both from Balochistan province, requested them to do so.
Soon after the negotiations, Federal Minister Changez Jamali told the media that he along with Sardar Umar Gorage are leaving with the reservations as conveyed by the Hazara elders to submit to the prime minister in the Governor House. He was optimistic about a positive outcome of their meeting with the Hazara elders.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Raja held lengthy meetings with Governor Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, federal ministers and other high-ups of the province. He was briefed about the prevailing situation, particularly emerged following the Quetta carnage on Thursday last.
Agencies add: The prime minister also discussed with Governor Zulfiqar Magsi many options, including handing over the affairs to the army and governor’s rule in the province.
After the meeting, the PM also telephoned the Federal Minister of Law Farooq H Naek and discussed with him the legal aspects of the either calling the Army to help the civil administration or to impose governor’s rule in Balochistan for the improvement of the deteriorating law and order situation in the country.
The prime minister also announced Rs1 million each for those who were martyred and Rs100,000 for the injured.The PM asked the provincial and federal law enforcement agencies to work in coordination under the provincial government.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira and Federal Minister for Postal Services Sardar Omar Gorage were also present on the occasion.Meanwhile, in a meeting with Prime Minister Ashraf, PPP Balochistan President Sadiq Umrani urged that the provincial government should be dissolved.
Sadiq Umrani said the provincial government has completely failed in bringing normalcy in the province and its failure was bringing a bad name to the PPP and creating disenchantment among the people. He said the sit-in by the members of the Hazara community and their demand for calling out the army was a solid proof of their no confidence in the government.
Hazara chief faces discord over sit-in
QUETTA: Though the Hazara chief Saadat Ali expressed satisfaction over the federal government’s steps, there was discord in the community over breaking the sit-in unless the steps announced were notified. Saadat Ali told the media he saw no reason in continuing the sit-in as the prime minister had accepted all their demands. He said some people from “outside” wanted to spoil the situation.