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Parliamentary committee on Balochistan

The National Assembly has approved constitution of a special parliamentary committee to find out various problems of Balochistan and their likely solutions.

The Speaker National Assembly has been authorized to include as many members as he wishes from the opposition and the treasury benches in the committee.

Minister of Defence Pervez Khattak has said that all six of the points raised by Balochistan National Party-Mengal have been thoroughly discussed and agreed upon by the government. He said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government is not stepping back from the six-point agenda. Khattak said that the government has no differences with the BNP, adding that the solution to the problems in Balochistan is political. He said that the province will get six percent in jobs and for putting an end to loadshedding the centre is providing a subsidy of Rs9 billion to Balochistan. The PM has assured that the National Finance Award will not be reduced and there will be no changes in the 18th Amendment. He added that the other matter that was raised by the party was regarding water, and it has been promised that several small dams will be created in the province to help in water conservation. Furthermore, the feasibility for two larger dams is also being created and work will begin on them as soon as the process is completed. Another one of the BNP-M’s concerns was the unfulfilled promise of six per cent government jobs being provided to people of the province. “Regarding this, we have assured the party that the promise will be fulfilled and, with time, Balochistan will get its fair share of government jobs,” Khattak said.

The last point on the agenda was about the respectful repatriation of Afghan refugees, which both sides have agreed on. Mengal said that he was grateful that the government had taken the time to ease the party’s concerns.

Formation of parliamentary committee under the leadership of the speaker National Assembly is a welcome development. It is the achievement of the government to win the support of BNP-Mengal on this crucial time. Now the government needs to fulfill all demands of BNP-Mengal which it has already agreed with him. Balochistan is a much deprived province of the country and it had been badly ignored in past. It needs development and full attention of the government. Federal and provincial governments should fully focus to resolve the all issues of the province on priority basis. It is hoped that parliamentary committee will play its due role in resolution of all lingering problems of the province.

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