Gilani rules out army operation in Balochistan
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has ruled out the launching of an army operation in Balochistan on the lines of Swat and Malakand and said the government is seriously implementing the Aghaz-i-Huqooq package in the province.
Talking to editors of national dailies here on Friday, he categorically stated that there would be no Swat- or Malakand-type operation in Balochistan.
He said the size of the cabinet would be reduced by December in accordance with the 18th Amendment.
The prime minister said the government was focusing on rehabilitation of flood-affected people and receiving generous donations from the international community and also domestically. He said the international community had pledged $1 billion, of which $300 million had been received.
He said the country was facing a difficult situation because the most devastating floods in the country’s history had reversed the development process to a great extent.
He urged all parties, media, social organisations and others to lend a helping hand in relief work and said this was not the time to pursue politics of vengeance.–Online
Amir Wasim adds: Adviser to Prime Minister on inter-provincial coordination and senior PPP leader Senator Raza Rabbani has expressed concerns over the federal government’s plan to give more powers to the Frontier Corps (FC) in Balochistan.
Talking to Dawn on Friday, Mr Rabbani said that the decision to give the powers of police to the FC would have an adverse effect on efforts being made by the PPP leadership to end the sense of alienation among the people of Balochistan and to bring them into the national mainstream.
During a recent visit to Quetta Interior Minister Rehman Malik had hinted at a government plan to launch a crackdown in the province to crush elements involved in target killings and bomb blasts. Mr Malik said the government had removed FC checkposts on popular demand, but it yielded no positive results; rather target killings and other such crimes had increased.
Contradicting Mr Malik’s claim, Mr Rabbani said he believed the situation in the province started improving after FC’s powers had been reduced and the checkposts manned by the FC personnel had been removed.
Mr Rabbani, who presented the Aghaz-i-Huqooq-i-Balochistan package before a joint sitting of parliament in November last year in his capacity as chairman of the parliament’s special committee on Balochistan, complained that he had not been consulted by the federal government on the planned move to give police powers to the FC.
Mr Rabbani warned that such an action could worsen the already volatile situation in the province.