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- Saturday, January 05, 2013 - From Print Edition




CHIEF Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that Balochistan issue is very important for the whole country and a policy should be evolved with a consensus to end deprivations of the province.


Talking to lawmakers from Balochistan, politicians, religious leaders, intellectuals, columnists and journalists here on Friday, he said the resolution of the Balochistan issue was in democracy. He said finding solution to Balochistan’s problems according to ground realities was the need of the hour, adding that all the stakeholders would have to sit together to resolve its problems.


Shahbaz said PML-N President Nawaz Sharif had adopted a clear stance on Balochistan and the party attached importance to the issue. He said the PML-N was a national party and had its roots in the four provinces. He said that unfortunately instead of finding a peaceful and lasting solution to Balochistan issue, military action was taken by Ayub, Bhutto and Musharraf which aggravated the situation.


The chief minister said the grievances of Balochis should be redressed through negotiations. He said that under the NFC award, Punjab tried to remove the deprivations of the people of Balochistan and it gave its huge share of Rs11 billion to the Balochi brethren.


He said in order to promote inter-provincial harmony, students of Balochistan, as well as other provinces had also been included in the educational programmes of Punjab and scholarships were also being given from the endowment fund to Baloch students.


He said a special quota had been reserved for the boy and girl students of Balochistan in the universities and colleges of Punjab, adding that the quota of Baloch students in the education institutions of Punjab would be increased.


The CM said that an institute of cardiology was being set up with a sum of Rs2 billion in Quetta with the cooperation of the Punjab government.


He said the PML-N was the only political party which had not only identified the burning issue of Balochistan but also expressed solidarity with the Balochi people.


He said the federal government had only been announcing packages for removing deprivations of Balochistan during last five years but no practical effort had been made in this regard.


He said whether it was assassination of Akbar Bugti, separatist movement or frustration of Balochi youth, Nawaz had always stressed the need for finding solution to all the issues on a political, economic and social basis. Zulfiqar Khosa, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Abdul Qadir Baloch, Hafiz Hussain Ahmad, Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Tariq Azim, Maj. Gen. (R) Muhammad Farooq, Altaf Hassan Qureshi, Ataul Haq Qasmi, Sajjad Mir, Anwarul Haq Kakar, Sardar Nasir Bazinjo, Liaqat Shahwani and other personalities belonging to Balochistan were present.