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Balochistan CM urges estranged leaders to return home

https://www.dawn.com/news/1399055

The Newspaper's Staff CorrespondentUpdated April 02, 2018

QUETTA: Chief Minister of Balochistan Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo speaks at a condolence reference for journalist Siddiq Baloch here on Sunday.—INP

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo has urged the self-exiled and disgruntled Baloch leaders to come back to the country to play their role in the development of the province.

Speaking at a condolence reference for late journalist Siddiq Baloch, which was organised by the Balochi Adabi Academy on Sunday evening at the Quetta Press Club, Mr Bizenjo said it was time to eliminate hatred and bring people closer to each other.

He claimed that he and his colleagues had jointly brought about political change in Balochistan in the larger interest of its people who were facing problems that had been ignored by the previous government and its coalition partners.

“Our opponents termed our struggle a conspiracy, but we succeeded in bringing about change through our struggle,” he said, adding that the move was described as a ploy to postpone elections to the Senate.

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But the elections were held on time, said the chief minister, and for the first time a leader from Balochistan was elected as Senate chairman with the support of both the Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

Mr Bizenjo said the PPP had always helped the “smaller provinces” attain their rights and through the 18th Amendment had ensu­red that the federating units got their rights.

He said that Balochistan was facing terrorism since the last two decades and had been affected badly as a result. But now it was time to end hatred and work jointly for its development and prosperity.

The chief minister said that with the joint efforts of the security forces and the government the situation in the province had improved considerably. But he was determined to root out terrorism from the province.

He paid rich tribute to Siddiq Baloch and urged other journalists to follow in the footsteps of the late journalist. He reminded the audience that Mr Baloch fought for the rights of Balochistan and never compromised on his principles.

Speaking at a public meeting during a visit to Khaliqabad on Saturday, the chief minister said that decisions regarding his province would no longer be allowed to be taken in Raiwind or Islamabad.

In a veiled reference to the recently held Senate elections in which a group of lawmakers from Balochistan managed to win chairmanship of the upper house of parliament, Mr Bizenjo said: “We have proved that people and leaders of the province are capable of taking decisions on their own in the interest of Balochistan. Earlier such decisions used to be taken in Raiwind and Islamabad without taking the leadership of Balochistan into confidence.”

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2018

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