Legislators for practical steps to end Balochis sense of deprivation

Legislators from both Houses of the Parliament on Wednesday called for practical steps to overcome sense of deprivation among the people of Balochistan as the Joint Sitting of the Parliament resumed discussion on the Aghaz-e-Hakook-e-Balochistan package. On Tuesday the session was adjourned without any discussion to pay respect to PML-N MNA Faiz Muhammad Khan who died on Monday night. Initiating the debate for the day, Senator Dr Abdul Malik said that the government should hold talks with rebel Bugti and Marri leaders as this was key to success of the efforts to find long-lasting solution of the problem. He termed former president Musharraf, directly responsible for the murder of veteran politician Nawab Akbar Bugti and demanded his trial. He alleged that the small nationalities were threatened with loss of their identity in the federation. Dr Malik accused that Balochistan government was involved in corruption and the common Balochis problems were not being resolved,which was adding to their sense of deprivation. He asked the government to cancel the land allotment done by former PM Shaukat Aziz in Gwadar,as it was state land and was sold on throwaway prices. Taking part in the discussion Senator Jan Muhammad Jamali said that Balochistan issue was 62-year old problem and a big heart was needed to settle the matter. He appreciated the initiative taken by the present PPP regime for ending the sense of deprivation in the Balochis.He especially lauded the efforts of the President Asif Zardari,Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and the Federal Cabinet for the bold and democratic step to break the ice. Jamali said that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was the great statesman and the Western world conspired to eliminate him. He was of the opinion that time for debates was over and if practical steps were not taken now,it would be too late then. He held one-unit system introduced in mid-50s responsible for the miseries of the small nationalities in the country. He said that decisions about the entire west Pakistan were taken in Lahore during one-unit era and local people were neglected in decision making process. Jan Jamali proposed that the Upper House of the Parliament should be strengthened and it should be given fiscal powers. Besides he called for holding direct elections for the Senators. He advised the government to hold talks with nationalist leader Khair Bux Marri and Bramdag Bugti,otherwise the government efforts would fail to bear fruit. While taking part in the discussion, Senator Abdul Rahim Mandokhail said that the present package was proof of the good intentions of the government, but the problems were too complicated to be resolved with one package. The problem of Balochistan is constitutional and political issue and provincial autonomy was only solution to this issue,he added. Mandokhail said that in the Balochistan province, almost half of the population comprises Pashtoons and they also deserve their rights.He said that after implementation of One-Unit system,the Pashtoons in Balochistan lost their separate identity. He also said that all political and administrative posts like chief minister ,governor and speaker were occupied by the Balochs and no representation was given to Pashtoons. Senator Muhabbat Khan Marri said that the leaders who have taken refuge abroad are not well-wishers of the Balochi masses as in the past they remained in power but never did anything for the betterment of the people. He was of the view that the Balochi masses have no trust in the exiled Balochi leaders as they have thier own agenda and Balochis welfare was not thier priority.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt