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‘Balochistan govt serious about missing persons issue’

Zia Ur Rehman

January 28, 2019

The provincial government of Balochistan is taking serious measures to resolve the issue of missing persons with consultations with all stakeholders and according to the law, said Balochistan Minister for Information Zahoor Ahmed Buledi on Sunday.

The visiting minister was talking to a select group of journalist at the Karachi Press Club after offering his condolence to KPC Vice-President Saeed Sarbazi on the death of his mother and congratulating the club’s newly-elected cabinet.

In the conversation, Buledi spoke on a variety of issues ranging from missing persons and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to the previous government’s policies and his province’s share in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award.

He said his government has formed policies to resolve the issue of missing persons, prevent the sale of the land of Balochistan to foreign companies, and seeking a greater share in CPEC and NFC Award and federal government. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan has also assured the Balochistan government his help to resolve the issues.

In December, the Balochistan government’s CPEC cell delivered a detailed presentation to the provincial government on the USD62 billion-worth China-led infrastructure projects, saying that apart from Gwadar, no progress had been made on CPEC projects in the rest of the province. For that, Buledi criticised the previous provincial government – an alliance of the National Party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party – and said that their leaders are responsible for leaving the province’s residents behind in CPEC projects.

“The western route passing through Balochistan is not part of CPEC in fact,” he said, adding that his government is making efforts to correct this injustice with the province and premier Khan promised to compensate them in future development projects.

The Balochistan information minister further said that the provincial government had decided to allot land to foreign investors in the province on lease for a certain period instead of granting them ownership rights. “We want to safeguard the rights of Balochistan’s people and do not want to convert them into aliens.”

Discussing the federal government’s plan to give three per cent share to the formerly Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) in the NFC award by reducing the provinces’ share, Buledi said that his government had a clear policy on it. “Instead of cutting share of Balochistan in the NFC, we want its share increased because the province has been affected badly because of insurgency and drought,” he said.

Buledi said that Balochistan has a myriad of problems but the current provincial government is making earnest efforts to resolve the issue and has prioritised good governance and combating rampant corruption in their policy.

The minister also said that the government had decided to set up a bank of the province named Balochistan Bank, which would create about 1,500 new jobs for the youth besides generating revenue of Rs1.5 billion.

Slamming the previous governments for their flawed policies in addressing the issues of the people of Balochistan, Buledi said that the current provincial government is making earnest efforts in providing all basic facilities to the masses at their doorstep.

He added he has been visiting media houses to ensure their due coverage and respect of Balochistan in the mainstream media. “Balochistan has been totally out of media coverage or only militancy and violence in the province has been covered,” he said. “We want the media to come to Balochistan and highlight the public’s issues.”


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