QUETTA - Balochistan Chief Minister (CM) Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo on Thursday said that instead of criticising each other, a joint action plan should be adopted in a realistic and intellectual way to develop the province. It was not true that only the population of Balochistan was reduced.
He also termed the criticising of some political circles meaningless regarding the new digital census, saying that those who were criticising the new census should also consider the 1998 and 2017 censuses.
The people responsible for the damage caused to Balochistan due to the lack of census should also be determined, he said. The CM said that we accepted the new census by looking at the facts, in the new census, the population growth rate in Balochistan was higher than other provinces.
“The problem of Balochistan will not be solved by increasing two or four seats in the National Assembly,” he said and added that for this, the Senate would have to be empowered in which all the provinces have proportional representation.
Bizenjo said that our position from the beginning was that other factors should also be included in the formula for allocation of resources in NFC. “Alongwith the population, the backwardness area and the factors of law and order situation should also be included,” he noted, adding that with the inclusion of these factors, Balochistan could gain advantage in NFC.
He said that all the political parties of the province were invited to come and protect the interests of the province but they could get their rights recognised by the federation only through joint struggle.
“If we do not come on the same page in this regard, the Federation will never give us our rights,” he said and added that all the political leadership of the province should show foresight and political maturity.
The CM said that the rate of population of Balochistan has increased which was more than other provinces, saying that there was a need to empower the Senate where all provinces were represented on an equal footing. He said that there should be special grants for our backward districts and this procedure was common in other developed countries as well, saying that if we were only dreaming of development based on the population, then it would remain only a dream.
“If we demand distribution of resources on the basis of population, it will be wrong, tomorrow, this issue will be raised with regard to the Baloch and Pashtun population in the province as well as the population of the districts,” he maintained.
He said that we acknowledged that there would be errors in the recent census as well, saying that the fact should also be accepted that the population in some districts was unnaturally exaggerated. “We also have some districts where many people were displaced due to flood, the displaced people could not be registered in the census,” he underlined.
He said that, however, we recognised this census in the wider interest of the province, our political leadership did not remember the absence of census in ten years and the holding of the recent census after six years.
The province suffered a lot due to the lack of census, according to an estimate, we got 10 billion rupees less annually in NFC, he said, questioning that why was the political leadership of the province silent on this loss of the province? He said that those responsible for this loss must also be determined, saying that the steps we have taken in a short period of one and a half years were like an open book. The clean and transparent conduct of local elections, the agreement of Riko-Diq project, the principled stand on the rights of Balochistan and other innumerable achievements were included, he explained.
He said that the political leadership should adopt realist political behaviour instead of non-issues saying that we could gain the right of Balochistan only by collective efforts.