ISLAMABAD – PML-N lawmaker Abdul Qadir Baloch, who is a former governor of Balochistan and corps commander Quetta, advised the federal government and the security forces not to consider Balochistan as a colony.
Taking part in the budget debate on a special permission from his party, Baloch warned that the situation in Balochistan was alarming where over 400 tortured and mutilated bodies had been recovered so far.
He appealed to all the political parties and government to take notice of the affairs and find a solution at the earliest. The PML-N would leave no stone unturned to save the integrity of the country.
“Should I suppose that the government is also associated with those who speak against Pakistan,” Baloch said, adding that there was need to differentiate between a friend and the foe.
"We are being criticised over not participating in the budget debate. What input we should make as there is no relief for the poor masses in the document," Baloch said, adding that the budget was made by bureaucrats who had no idea of even the location of South Waziristan, Kharan and Dir.
No relief was provided in the previous budgets as well with the issues of electricity crisis, inflation and lawlessness were still haunting the people, the PML-N leader said, adding that only Punjab was repeatedly blamed by the Centre for not generating electricity but the situation was same in the other provinces.
He further questioned how the country would pay off the outstanding debt in the given circumstances, while the foreign investors were reluctant to take any risk amidst declining growth rate, inflation and worsening law and order.
He criticised the PPP's much hyped BISP initiative and said the programme could not be called a solution of the poor’s problems, as he suggested diverting the funds allocated to the BISP and the NHA to the energy sector to tackle the crisis.
Meanwhile, the PML created pandemonium in the house after a two-day break after its members attended the session calmly only till the end of their colleague’s speech. At first, they left the house but returned after around 20 minutes only to assemble on the floor of the house and raise anti-government slogans till the end of the session. The PML-N also attempted to block proceedings of the house by pointing out quorum, but the treasury foiled the bid by managing to keep the required strength of its members.
Repeating his practice like previous days, a PML-N legislator, Saud Majeed, who had pointed out quorum for almost seven times during last five days of debate, acted in a similar fashion, thus inviting a severe criticism from the treasury benches.
Earlier, the MQM, a coalition partner of the ruling PPP, staged a token walkout from the National Assembly in protest against the killing of a former MPA's brother in Karachi. They warned it would be difficult to control the law and order situation if the assassins were not arrested.
Nadeem Afzal Chann from the PPP said though his party had presented its fifth budget but it could not tackle the energy crisis, thana culture and some other matters. But he claimed that they were not alone in the failure as the opposition (an obvious reference to the PML-N government in Punjab) also could not deliver. “We have not learnt lesson from the past as we are now even breaching the sanctity of the Parliament,” he said, adding that there was a dire need to bring democracy in the political parties. He called for the imposition of wealth tax on the affluent, but said people belonging to the agriculture sector were the main sufferers from the power outage but they never observed strikes.
Attiya Inayatullah from the PML-Q said three white elephants - Railways, PIA and Steel Mills - were causing a huge loss to the national exchequer. She added that although, the previous budget envisaged adding 0.7 million people to the tax net but no measures were taken on the subject so far. “The budget is neither pro-people nor anti-people,” she remarked.