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The Path Forward In Balochistan



QUETTA: President Asif Ali Zardari said on Thursday that all the demands of the people of Balochistan were acceptable to the government.

“There is not even a single demand which is unacceptable to us,” he said while addressing the 5th draw of the Waseela-e-Haq programme here on Thursday. He also met different delegations at the Governor House.
“I have good knowledge of the problems of Balochistan. I need some time to solve these problems,” he said. “We know that some estranged people have no faith in our promises, so we have decided to do some practical work before going for a dialogue.”
Zardari arrived in the city on a two-day visit on Thursday. Extraordinary security measures were adopted during the president’s visit. Additional deployment of security personnel was made to avert any untoward incident.
Zardari urged the Baloch leaders not to resort to violence for their rights. “I am here to give you the rights and develop the province.” He went on to say: “We know there is a feeling of sadness in Balochistan. The people here do not sob, and prefer to pick up guns.”
Zardari said he wanted to develop a Pakistan where Balochistan would be the hub of progress and development. “The history will recall that a soldier of Bhutto came here and pledged to make Balochistan the centre of world’s attention.”
He sought the help of all the political parties to resolve the issues of the province. “There might not be any immediate relief, but over a period of time, you will witness significant change in your lives,” he added.
“We have the same love, respect and regard for the people of Balochistan as we have for the people of other parts of the country.” The president said more National Highway Authority projects would be initiated to improve the communication network in the province.
Earlier, Zardari performed the fifth draw of the Waseela-e-Haq Programme, under which successful families would get loans of Rs 300,000 to start their own businesses. He also distributed cheques among women hailing from different parts of the province. Compensation cheques were given to those women whose close relatives were injured or died in acts of terror or natural calamities.
Meanwhile, PPP Balochistan President Senator Nawabzada Lashkari Raisani and other provincial leaders of the party staged a walkout after PPP workers were denied entry into the Governor House to meet the president and attend the PPP provincial council meeting.
After an hour’s break, Lashkari again approached the Governor House, seeking entry of the PPP council members, but again they were refused on the ground that the function was over and the president had moved to the CM Secretariat for the provincial cabinet meeting.
Earlier, addressing a high-level meeting at the Governor House, Zardari issued directives to the concerned authorities to ensure timely completion of development projects in the province. Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani, Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf, Federal Minister for Housing and Works Rehmatullah Khan Kakar, Federal Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira, Federal Minister for Postal Services Mir Israrullah Zehri, Chairman BISP. Farzana Raja were present during the meeting.
APP adds: Talking to the Balochistan cabinet members, Zardari said the federal government was working to introduce a constitutional package in March which would ensure rights to provinces. “Balochistan has a specific strategic importance which cannot be ignored.”

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