QUETTA - Non-formation of standing committees once again echoed in the session of Balochistan Assembly on Monday.

Standing committees are very essential aspects of parliamentary democracy but despite completing its four years, the Balochistan Assembly has not constituted the committees so far. The non-formation of standing committees came to light when Mir Asim Kurd Provincial Minister Finance tabled the annual monitoring report of National Finance Commission from July to December 2010.

Taking the floor on a point of order, Asad Baloch the Provincial Minister for Agriculture said he was unaware on any standing committees formation was in order. “Often legislations are passed by House but we are unaware about the details,” he told the house. Provincial Minister of PML-N Captain retired Khaliq Achakzai also stood up and took the floor on a point of order. “Government has failed to constitute standing committees despite the lapse of four years. This must be done as soon as possible.” Speaker Aslam Bhootani who was presiding over the session informed the members that the Law Department had taken up the matter with Chief Minister and soon the committees will be formed. Law Minister Abdul Rehman Jamali raised objections regarding the small number of members showing up for the scheduled sessions. He said “All the members are not busy. There must be check on the members and they should be bound to attend the scheduled sessions,” Nineteen out of 65 members were in attendance during the Monday’s scheduled session. The leader of Balochistan National Party (BNP-Awami) Asad Baloch Minister for Agriculture strongly condemned the search operation in Lyari. “I do not approve of criminals but arresting of few people by the police and law enforcement agencies, has made the rest of the people of Lyari hostage. This is injustice and I as Baloch feel that Baloch people are being deliberately targeted,” he told the house. He said that in Balochistan the police will soon launch search operation in Sariab, area dominated by Baloch people, after any major incident. Similarly in Karachi the police believe all the criminals are living in Lyari. He said that more than 2 million Baloch were living in Lyari and the operation which continued for the past several days, in which many people were killed. “The killing of innocent people should be stopped and operation against Baloch people should end otherwise Baloch nation would be compelled to rethink about its future in Pakistan,” he added. Speaking on a point of order, Abdul Khaliq Bashar Dost JUI-Ideology Leader said several religious scholars were gunned down in a fresh spate of targeted killings in Quetta. “The religious, political and tribal leaders are being targeted to create unrest in the province. Government should put a stop to this conspiracy,” he said. The session was adjourned till April 5, 2012.

Protest against killings: Dozens of activists of Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) Women Wing on Monday staged a noisy protest in front of Balochistan Assembly against target killing of people belonging to Hazara community in the province.

“We present our bangles to the members of Balochistan Assembly who have miserably failed to provide security to the members of Hazara community and bring the culprits to justice,” the charged protestors said. Protestors were carrying party flags and placards inscribed with different demands such as “Down with sectarian killing and down with incompetent Balochistan government”. Six people, including a woman belonging to Hazara community were killed in sectarian target killing on March 29 when unknown armed men ambushed their van at Spanny Road.

 Throwing and tying bangles on the main gate of Balochistan Assembly, the infuriated protestors were shouting full-throat slogans against provincial government. Addressing on the occasion, HDP Woman Wing leaders, Nazneen Zaman and Rifat Hazara strongly condemned Spanny Road incident, saying that the killers don’t even spare our women. “We are here to register our protest because provincial government has failed to provide security to the people,” they alleged, adding that for the past one decade the genocide of Hazara community continued which has compelled women to come out of their homes and demand security to their people. They regretted that innocent people were being ruthlessly killed and the cost of their life had become cheaper than that of animals and adding that the provincial government was only taking steps for its own security. “We request Chief Justice of Pakistan, who is in Quetta, to deliver justice to Hazara community and bound provincial government for taking stern action against culprits involved in the killing of innocent people, they added.