Pak Affairs Politics

BA condemns US intentions to conduct drone strikes in Balochistan

QUETTA: Balochistan Assembly on Saturday adopted unanimously a resolution condemning the alleged US intentions of conducting drone strikes in parts of Balochistan and demanded of the federal government and other concerned international quarters to play their role to prevent US from launching air strikes in parts of the province. The house passed the unanimous resolution after three days of the report published in New York Times, on Wednesday, in which unveiled about the alleged plan of US to conduct drone attacks on Taliban hideouts in parts of Balochistan.

Speaker Muhammad Aslam Bhutani presided over the assembly session. The resolution was tabled by Balochistan senior minister and JUI-F leader Maulana Abdul Wasay in the house. Strongly condemning the US intentions to launch air strikes in Balochistan, the mover of the resolution asked America as to who gave it the right to violate the sovereignty of an independent state and international law in the region.

He said that 95% of seminaries belonged to JUI-F in Balochistan, and there was no such militant activity in any of these seminaries which could be of any matter of concern for the US administration. He emphatically said that the US administration to initiate dialogues with the federal and Balochistan governments so that their reservations could be addressed properly in lieu of conducting drone strikes in the province.

Taking part in debate on the resolution, lawmakers of all political parties and independent legislators supported the resolution and called for unity of the entire people of the province against malicious intentions of US in the region.

Shaikh Jaffar Mandokhel (PML-Q), Ehsan Shah (BNP-A), Abdul Khaliq Bashar Dost (JUI-N), Rahila Durrani (PML-Q) and other legislators while supporting the resolution urged for holding of a joint conference to chalk out a unanimous strategy for making the US plan unsuccessful in the province. They said that the drones would scare away hearts and minds of the people and US could not win hearts and minds of the people with drone attacks, adding such air strikes would alienate the people.

They appealed to concerned international quarters to perform their responsibilities and play their effective role to prevent US from conducting drone strikes in parts of the province. On November 14 last, the BA had adopted a similar resolution which condemned US drone attacks in FATA killing civilians in the garb of targeting terrorists in Pakistani territory.

Later, the house passed another resolution demanding of the federal government to cancel the permissions issued to foreigners who visit for hunting various kinds of birds in parts of Balochistan. The resolution was jointly tabled by BNP-A lawmakers Asad Baloch and Dr Fauzia Marri which further demanded that no foreigner should be allowed to come for hunting without proper permission unless issued by Balochistan government.

Earlier, the Assembly approved an adjournment motion for a two-hour debate in the house on March 24. The motion was tabled by PML-Q lawmaker Shaikh Jaffar Mandokhel. The motion was about the alleged injustices with Balochistan regarding job quotas in different departments, organizations and corporations of the federal government in the country.

The mover said that the federal government had approved 1062 posts for Balochistan “the largest in area and the smallest populated province ─ out of which 640 had been filled while the remaining 422 posts were still lying vacant despite the people were holding degrees and remained jobless. He alleged that 60 per cent non-Balochistani people had been allocated against vacant seats of the province on fake domiciles.

Legislators including Sanaullah Zehri (NPP), Shahnawaz Marri, Abdul Khaliq Bashar Dost and others also supported the motion for debating in the house. The Speaker approved the motion for a two-hour debate in the House for March 24.

Yesterday Awami National Party (ANP) Chief Asfandyar Wali Khan showed his reservations about expected drone attacks on Balochistan saying that these attacks would be harmful for the region and US itself. This he said in a meeting with American ambassador in Pakistan Ann W Patterson who called on him at Pakhtunkhwa House in Islamabad. Meeting between the two leaders continued for an hour and after the meeting Asfandyar Wali Khan talking the media said that drone attacks were unacceptable it might be in FATA or Balochistan.

He said that the solution of problems is only possible through dialogue but not though bullet. Replying a question he said that after the restoration of deposed judges the circumstances of the country are changing at very fast speed but the ills of last 12 years could not be settled in one day.

Input from Agencies

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Noreen Gill

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