LAHORE – The federal government is ready to withdraw the Frontier Constabulary (FC) from Balochistan, if Nawaz Sharif takes the responsibility for the ensuing circumstances, asserted Minister for Information & Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira as he touched down in Lahore on Tuesday.
Kaira, who was accompanied by Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Khursheed Shah, claimed that the police were manning only 5 per cent of the total area of Balochistan, while the remaining was being controlled through the FC.
The minister however expressed surprise that the former premier had called for pulling out the FC, which, according to him, had been posted to Balochistan after the removal of army. “If Mian Nawaz Sharif takes the responsibility for whatever happens afterwards in Balochistan, the government would withdraw the FC,” he added. Kaira, to a query about the role of the FC in the missing persons’ case, said the Supreme Court had not yet passed any final order in the matter, so it should not be politicised.
Responding to another question, the minister said the ruling PPP had volunteered to seek forgiveness from the Baloch people for the sins it did not commit. “We seek forgiveness, despite the fact that the PPP had not been part of the atrocities previously done to the Balochs.”
Terming the meeting between Nawaz Sharif and Talal Bugti a positive development, Kaira said the PPP firmly believed that all problems faced by the country must be addressed through viable solutions. “But they should not be politicised at any cost neither for political nor for personal gains,” the minister said while adding that unlike Nawaz Sharif, the PPP leadership never ran for cheap popularity or point-scoring through popular slogans.
To a question, the minister maintained that the agencies were answerable to the government. “The chief of army staff and heads of the agencies have also submitted an affidavit to the court in this respect,” he said to prove his point.
About the registration of cases against certain journalists in Balochistan, Kaira said it was a provincial subject, but added the Centre would certainly take up the issue with the Balochistan government. “The federal government is looking into the matter and a decision will be taken after a thorough inquiry.”
Kaira, while replying to a question about southern Punjab province, said Nawaz Sharif first called for the formation of a commission, but backed off from his stance at a later stage. “Although no single constitutional provision sets out the formation of such a commission, the PML-N’s demand was honoured however.
Asked about letter to Swiss authorities, the minister said that court procedure was in process. He also reiterated that his party – the PPP – had always respected the courts.
Expressing similar views, Federal Minister Khursheed Shah added that the PPP accepted court rulings with an open heart and would continue doing so.
Khursheed Shah, who had to appear before the Lahore High Court in connection with the Haj quota case, asserted that eliminating corruption was his party’s obligation. “It had already been mentioned clearly that no quota was allotted by the Saudi government. And if any decision comes against the ministry, the PPP will request for a review before the Supreme Court in line with its tradition of respecting the judiciary.”
He said although he had not received any official note for his appearance before the court, he directly came from Karachi after learning about it through media reports.
Later, Khursheed Shah, while talking to the media at the Lahore High Court, thanked the court for hearing his submissions about the Haj quota allotment, and said the court’s order would be implemented. He also observed that if the institutions worked within their ambit, problems would not arise.
Ready to withdraw FC if Nawaz ensures peace: Kaira