QUETTA - More than 11 political parties in Balochistan have decided to stage a sit-in outside Parliament House on January 12 next year in protest over the kidnapping of a senior leader of Awami National Party and growing incidents of kidnapping for ransom in the province.
Representatives of the Opposition and ruling political parties in Balochistan also called for legislation to bring an end to rise in incidents of kidnapping for ransom in Quetta and other troubled parts of the province.
All the four parties in the Balochistan coalition government as well as the opposition parties would jointly stage a sit-in outside Parliament against killers and kidnappers, Balochistan Minister for Information and Parliamentary Affairs Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party announced at a crowded press conference here.
The political parties also announced that if ANP leader was not recovered and peace not restored, then a resolution regarding formation of civilian force would be tabled in Balochistan Assembly. “We will exert pressure on law-enforcement agencies to rein in kidnappers,” Ziaratwal said.
He said the political parties’ representatives would also meet with the chief minister and governor and apprise them about the alarming situation.
Unidentified gunmen abducted ANP leader Arbab Zahir Kasi from Moti Ram Road, Quetta's busiest commercial area, on October 23. Security agencies and police have remained clueless about his whereabouts. Kasi’s abductors are demanding Rs1 billion ransom that his family has refused to pay. The ANP has been protesting against the kidnapping since the incident.
An all-party conference was convened in Quetta on Wednesday for recovery of Kasi. Later the APC formed a special committee that drew two members each from the National Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Balochistan National Party, Awami National Party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Ideological, Jamaat-eIslami, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional and Hazara Democratic Party.
The committee held a meeting on Friday under Balochistan Assembly Opposition Leader and JUI-F leader Maulana Abdul Wasay, and on Saturday Information Minister Ziaratwal and other leaders informed the media about the committee’s decision.
The minister said they would move a bill in the Balochistan Assembly against incidents of kidnapping for ransom. He said if the law-enforcement agencies excused and accepted their failure they would go for legislation to bring an end to such incidents at the public level. “Legislation would also be made about formation of a task force and other affairs,” he added.
BNP leader Dr Jehanzaib said that main objective behind the protest was to bring an end to lawlessness in Balochistan. He said his party would stand by political forces regarding restoration of peace in the province.
Malik Sikandar Advocate, the central leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl said that Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani, Mehmood Khan Achakzai and Sardar Akhtar Mengal would also join the protest in Islamabad.
Provincial Minister Sheik Jaffar Khan Mandokhel, leader of BNP Dr Jahanzaib Jamaldini, JUI-F leader Sikandar, ANP, leader Sardar Rashid, PML-N leader Naseebullah Bazai, JI Zahir Akthar Baloch and leaders of other parties were also preset on the occasion.