Solution to Balochistan problems lies in free & fair polls, SC told
ISLAMABAD – Former chief minister of Balochistan Abdul Malik Baloch on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that the solution to the problems of the province is impartial, independent and transparent elections.
Baloch, who was summoned along with another former CM Sanaullah Zehri, told this to Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar during the hearing of a suo motu case regarding the shortage of water in the province.
A three-judge bench headed by chief justice resumed the hearing of the suo motu case wherein both ex-CMs appeared in the court.
The CJ asked the ex-CMs if they are satisfied with the water condition in their province. Observing that the sources of water have been drying, the chief justice questioned as to what steps they have taken to overcome the problem.
Baloch responded that he made all-out efforts to make the Balochistan’s state of affairs function adding that nothing could be done better if the law and order situation is out of control.
He said that the province was suffering from chaotic-like situation due to sectarianism when he took the charge of government. This was the reason that reforms in police were the utmost priority, he said, adding that he introduced the reforms, released funds of Rs10 billion for the purpose due to which the crime ratio was declined during 2013 to 2015.
The Chief Justice asked if the killing of Hazara community declined.
Baloch responded that 248 citizens averagely killed in one year at the time when he took charge of the government, adding that now the figures have been decreased. He added that he ended the culture of political interference in police department due to which the peace was restored adding former Inspector General of Police could be asked on the issue.
He further said that he increased the budget for education from 4 per cent to 24 per cent. However, the chief justice observed that around six thousand schools in the province lacked walls and toilets, adding it will take 60 years to upgrade six thousand schools as per the policy of up-gradation of 100 schools per year.
Baloch responded that an amount of Rs62 billion is required for the said purpose while the entire budget of Balochistan is Rs42 billion, adding his government built two medical colleges and six varsities.
Chief justice said that hospitals in Quetta lack CCUs and no facilities have been provided in government hospitals adding that hospitals’ staff was on strike when he visited there.
During the course of hearing, Baloch further stated that his government procured equipment worth Rs2 billion for hospitals
Baloch complained that the province gets no share from the federal government. The CJ told Baloch that it was his government in the centre at the time when he was the CM of Balochistan.
Baloch further stated that not a penny has been earmarked in the budget for water in Balochistan. The CJ observed that this is what they are talking about, adding if the situation persists the people will be compelled to migrate to other places.
Baloch further added that billions of rupees are required for projects of water, adding his government started dam projects in the province.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan, member of the bench, questioned as to whether the dams have been constructed or they only exist in papers.
Baloch responded that construction on some of the dams have been completed while some are in the pipeline. He added that 35 percent work on a dam in Quetta has been completed while the construction work on a dam in Gwadar has been completed.
Chief justice directed both ex-CMs to appear before the bench on Thursday (today) again at the Quetta Registry at 7pm along with the proposals.
Regarding law and order situation, the CJ also directed the IGs Frontier Constabulary and other law enforcement agencies to appear before the bench.