QUETTA - The Balochistan Assembly on Wednesday paid glowing tribute to former chief minister Mir Jam Muhammad Yousuf, who passed away earlier this month, and decided to keep the ongoing session off until Friday as a mark of respect for his services to the province.

Legislators, including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl parliamentarian Maulana Abdul Wasay, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid leader Asim Kurd Gilu and Balochistan National Party-Awami’s Mir Asad Baloch, remembered the services of the late chief minister he rendered for the province.

The assembly’s Wednesday sitting started two hours behind the schedule with Speaker Syed Matiullah Agha in the chair.

Offering tribute to the late chief minister, lawmakers noted that five universities and over 15 cadet colleges set up during the tenure of Jam Yousuf were playing a pivotal role in imparting education in the province, they noted.

JUI-F’s Abdul Wasay said Jam Yousuf completed his five-year term amicably and took all stakeholders on board because keeping a check on internal and external interference in Balochistan had been quite challenging. “The province made significant development in Jam’s epoch,” he conceded.

Wasay recalled that the then Centre had carried out a brutal operation in Balochistan under the pretext of security of the government installations which, according to him, augmented hatred in the province, despite the fact that the JUI-F had expressed serious reservations over the move. “Not only a large number of people, including women and children, were killed, but thousands of people were also rendered homeless by this operation,” the JUI-F leader said.

PML-Q leader Asim Kurd Gilu said Yousuf’s family sacrificed their state for the sake of Pakistan when it came into being. “The services of Jam Yousuf and his family for Balochistan and Pakistan would always be remembered,” he added.

The PML-Q leader criticised the imposition of Governor’s Rule in Balochistan. “Why Governor’s Rule is not imposed in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he questioned, saying Sindh’s Karachi city and KPK were also faced with similar security issues. Gilu demanded immediate withdrawal of the Governor’s Rule.

Asad Baloch of the BNP-Awami, while paying homage to Jam Yousuf, lashed out at the media for what he called a media trial of the representatives of the people. “Authorities of the National Accountability Bureau, in a statement, clarified that no minister was involved in any corruption case, but some journalists were dragging them only for some remunerations,” he added. The BNP-A leader warned media persons not to cross the limit because they were representatives of the people of Balochistan.

Earlier, after recitations from the holy Quran, the speaker passed the ruling that the session would stand postponed till Friday due to the death of former chief minister Mir Muhammad Jam Yousuf and the agenda would be carried to the next proceedings.