–BNP-M chief stages walkout from NA along with opposition parties over non-implementation of production orders
Interior Minister Brigadier (r) Ijaz Shah on Friday assured Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal that the issue of arrest of four women from Awaran district of Balochistan will be resolved within two days.
A meeting was held at the office of National Assembly (NA) Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri where the BNP-M chief was also present along with other MNAs.
Mengal expressed concerns over Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) failure to address the issues of its allies and said that his party would reconsider its position if it was not getting any benefits from the coalition. “We do not see the point of being a partner of this government if it refuses to address our genuine concerns,” he said.
On this, the NA deputy speaker said that he himself was from Balochistan and assured Mengal that the government was genuinely interested in working with his party for the development of the province in order to end all injustices towards the people of Balochistan.
Meanwhile, during the proceedings of the National Assembly (NA) on Friday, the opposition staged a walkout in protest for not being allowed to speak about the production orders of detained lawmakers. The BNP-P chief also walked out with the opposition.
The opposition demanded the implementation of the production orders issued by NA Speaker Asad Qaiser and announced that they would continue to boycott the House’s proceedings until the issue has been resolved. The session was then adjourned till Monday.
On November 30, four Baloch women were forcibly picked up from different parts of Awaran. According to a tweet by rights activist associated with Amnesty International, Rabia Mehmood, four Baloch women named Sakina, Sayad Bibi, Nazal and Hameeda had been forcibly picked up from district Awaran in Balochistan.
Speaking in the House, Mengal had raised the issue of Balochistan’s marginalisation since decades. He had said that “four women had been kidnapped on November 29 and taken away to a torture cell and tortured” before their arrest was made public.
Mengal had also questioned the defence put up by the government to save former military dictator General (r) Musharraf as he held the general responsible for a decade long insurgency in the province. He had said that Balochistan cannot put run “on gunpoint” while criticising the policies of the current regime which were oblivious to the plight of the Baloch people.
He had questioned whether it was “unseen forces” that were running the government or a civil government. “What message will the arrest of these women send to people?”
Mengal had also remarked what kind of government “hides the faces of terrorists in court but allows the display of pictures of women with weapons placed in front of them”. “Neither did the previous government wish to take Balochistan forward with them, nor does this government,” he had said.
“A committee for Balochistan was formed in June but its members have still not been named,” Mengal had said. “When you want votes, then you want Akhtar Mengal and you want Shahzain Bugti,” he had added in further criticism of the government.