‘Pakistan’s progress linked to Balochistan peace’

In Local
March 28, 2024


National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on Saturday asked Balochistan parliamentarians and public representatives to suggest solutions to the socio-economic problems being faced by the province and its people.

Chairing the maiden meeting of the special parliamentary committee on Balochistan in the Parliament House, Qaiser said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) emanated from Gilgit-Baltistan and culminated in Balochistan, which increased the significance of the province.

“Balochistan and its issues are always a priority of the incumbent government,” he said. “Parliament and public representatives are the best option to put forth solutions to the socio-economic issues faced by Balochistan and its people,” he said.

“Pakistan’s progress is linked to peace and progress in Balochistan,” Qaiser said, stressing the need for the committee to look into the matters related to ensuring transfer of the real benefits of CPEC to the local people.

Committees in the parliamentary system across the world, Qaiser said, played a recommendatory role, therefore, this committee would make all-out efforts to recommend the best possible solutions to the issues faced by Balochistan.

The speaker mentioned that the issuance of an executive order, regarding immediate implementation of 6% employment quota in all federal departments, underscored the seriousness of Prime Minister Imran Khan towards addressing the issues of Balochistan.

On the occasion, the speaker formed a four-member sub-committee, headed by Dr Fehmida Mirza, to develop comprehensive terms of reference (ToRs) encompassing all the issues related to Balochistan. It was also decided that a representative from the Balochistan National Party and Defence Minister Prevaiz Khattak would be invited to assist the sub-committee in developing the ToRs.

Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri appreciated the initiative of the speaker to constitute the special committee.

He noted that the government was seriously looking into the resolution of the issues confronting peace and development in the province.

Mirza, the inter-provincial coordination minster, told the committee that Balochistan’s issues had always been the top priority of the parliamentarians.

She pointed out that comprehensive ToRs were essential to make the committee more effective. Khattak said that the government had taken various steps to mitigate the grievances of the people of Balochistan.

Representing Balochistan National Party (BNP) chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal, National Assembly lawmaker Agha Hassan Baloch contended that the issues of Balochistan were getting intense since 2006 and needed to be redressed forthwith.

He called for examining the recommendations, proposed after a meeting between previous parliamentary committee, headed by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, and late Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2020.

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