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June 18, 2020

Akhtar Mengal parts ways with govt

Top Story

June 18, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Nawab Akhtar Mengal, top leader of the Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) announced to part ways with PTI government’s coalition in the centre, citing reasons for non-implementation of two agreements made with his party.

“I formally announce on the floor of the National Assembly, separation from the federal government,” Nawab Akhtar Mengal while sending shockwaves among the government benches during his speech on the budget debate.

Mengal recalled that his party supported the ruling coalition in elections of the President, Prime Minister, Speaker and the Deputy Speaker. “We support the last budget also despite the fact that the same was rejected by the opposition parties but what we get in return,” he questioned.

The BNP-M is represented by the four parliamentarians in the National Assembly including Nawab Akhtar Mengal himself, Muhammad Hashim Notezai, Agha Hassan Baloch and Dr Shahnaz Baloch.

Mengal recalled that two agreements were signed between the PTI and his party, first one inked on August 8, 2018. “It were the PTI leaders who came all the way to us and we did not approach them,” he said.

He also mentioned that it were Jahangir Tareen, Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Yar Muhammad Rind who signed the first agreement on behalf of the PTI.

Mengal said his party through two agreements demanded solution to the issue of missing persons and implementation on the National Action Plan in letter and spirit. “Will anybody tell whether there was anything unconstitutional in these two agreements,” he questioned.

He observed that not accepting demands was the same mindset which had been witnessed since the year 1948 demanding that the agreements should be implemented if they were citizens of the country and were not what he said ‘bloody civilians’.

Nawab Akhtar Mengal said that his party waited for implementation on agreements for two years. “We can still wait but you should start something,” he said. He told the House that lady whose brother was missing, kept on fighting for four years and at last she committed suicide only two days back.

He said the issues of Balochistan were of political and if the Centre wanted to take the province along, the agreements would have to be implemented. He recalled that a committee comprising leaders from all the political parties was constituted, which was to visit Balochistan to see what the issues were, who were responsible for addressing those problems. “We should be told whether the committee was notified, it held any meeting and whether its terms of reference were finalised,” he questioned feeling that the issues of Balochistan were not among priorities of the federal government.

Mengal regretted that his party supported the PTI in elections of President, Prime Minister, Speaker and Deputy Speaker and also faced allegations from the opposition that they received Rs10 billion from the government. “Once you start counting issues of Balochistan, you will find that you owe to the province a lot,” he said.

The BNP leader pointed out that protest demonstrations for Bosnia and Palestine are taken, price hike of tomato and sugar are debated but no discussion takes place on blood of Baloch people.

He questioned whether Balochistan was being considered as a colony of Pakistan and that its people were treated as slaves. “You will have to give Balochistan its complete share today or tomorrow,” he said adding what to talk about royalty of Sui gas, the Baloch people could not even feel its smell.

He complained if Afghan Peace Conference could be convened, as to why Balochistan Peace Conference could not be called.

He also demanded of the government to amend the Constitution by mentioning Balochistan as conquered or occupied territory. “We will not complain and will bury our dead silently once you allow this particular amendment,” he said.

Complaining that online classes in Balochistan were yet to start, Mengal observed as to how online classes could be started in the province when they are not even allowed to stand in queues.

Mengal was also critical of the federal budget saying it could be friendly to parliamentarians, ministers and bureaucracy but could not be termed a people friendly. “There are no chances that budget will be people friendly,” he said adding that justice is sold and not given to the people.

On issue of NFC, he said he would ask the minister concerned to explain revision of the NFC award questioning if it was an attempt to roll back the 18th Amendment Akhtar Mengal said in Balochistan, the vehicles with Pakistani flag waiving on it is not searched questioning if a person with flag on his car could be patriotic to the country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan who was elected as Leader of House with 184 votes is now left with support of 180 members whereas he requires confidence of 172 members. On the other hand, the opposition in the National Assembly has 156 votes following death of MMA member Munir Orakzai.