‘FC will now work under Balochistan CM’
Shoaib A Raja
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Qamar Zaman Kaira on Tuesday said that the FC would work under the control of chief minister Balochistan and would have no role other than the restoration of law and order.
He said a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani had discussed in-depth six dimensions of Balochistan’s problems and the missing persons’ case. He said the meeting discussed in detail the operational, developmental, administrative, legal, political and financial aspects of the situation.
The minister said a six-member steering committee was also formed which would hold meetings on a weekly basis and submit its report to the prime minister. He said the committee would consist of three members each from the federal and Balochistan governments.
Kaira said that the meeting decided to restore the government’s writ in Balochistan and said whoever was found involved in human rights violations would be taken to task. He said that the prime minister emphasised his resolve to implement the policy of DRA (dialogue, rule of law and autonomy), which would be a way forward. He said all stakeholders were unanimous in their resolve to improve the situation in Balochistan, and under a phased process the government’s writ would be restored. “Under the plan, law and order would be restored in urban areas in the first phase, and Quetta city would be termed a model city,” he added. He said that the prime minister expressed his resolve to give political ownership to the decisions taken by the meeting.
Kaira said the meeting was informed that Balochistan was being provided its share of funds from the divisible pool. He said the meeting also decided that the FC would work under the control of chief minister Balochistan and it would have no role other than restoration of law and order. “The FC would have no anti-smuggling role in Balochistan. However, the chief minister Balochistan would determine the role of the FC for secure travel across the province,” he added.
Kaira said that the provincial government would hold a dialogue with politicians and nationalists. “Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani also said that a military solution was not a durable solution and dialogue was the only way to resolve conflicts,” he added.
The minister made it clearthat the dialogue process would remain within the ambit of federation. He said General Kayani informed the meeting that whatever actions the army had taken were aimed at defending the integrity of the country and it would continue to play its role. He assured that the army and the FC would remain within their legal role and no excesses would be allowed.
“General Kayani also asked the federal and provincial governments to provide funds for scholarships to the Baloch youth, who were studying at a cadet college and a school set up in the cantonment buildings at Kohlu and Sui,” he added. He said that the prime minister also directed the law minister to improve the laws to counter the menace of terrorism.
Kaira said that the meeting was also informed that most of the clauses of the Aghaz-e-Huqooq-e-Balochistan Package had been implemented and the rest would also be implemented in consultation with the provincial government. He said that the government had provided 5,000 jobs to Balochistan youth and it would fund their salaries for five years instead of three years.
Kaira said that the prime minister had directed the finance minister to pay the amount for the federal government’s share to be given in subsidy for tubewells. He said the government would also allocate funds for two dams in the upcoming budget, while Kachhi Canal would also be completed this year and funds in this regard would be provided.
The minister said that funds would also be provided to make Gwadar Port operational while Rato Dero-Gwadar Road would be completed too. He said the Army chief assured providing foolproof security to local and foreign companies mining for minerals in Balochistan. He said the quota for Baloch youth in the army would also be completed this year while 300 people would be inducted in Levis Force.