QUETTA - Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Asharf Sunday night finally announced imposition of Governor Rule in Balochistan as he met the families of Quetta blast victims who sat along with the bodies of their unfortunate loved ones for the third night in this chilly winter.

The prime minister offered fateha, consoled the relatives of the dead, and held informal negotiations with the Hazara community leaders present there. He then announced that the government of Chief Minister Aslam Raisani is being dismissed under article 234 of the constitution and Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi will be the chief executive of Balochistan from Monday.

However, leaders of Hazara community said they would end their sit-in only when the notification of governor’s rule will be issued. The PM was accompanied by Governor Magsi, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and Khurshid Shah.

There was also some fuss over the issue of Quetta city’s security as the PM initially said that FC, which have been given extensive powers, will look after the law and order in the capital, but the protesters insisted on handing over the city control to the army. Taking a lenient line, the PM then said that after imposition of governor’s rule, the governor will decide about this issue and he may call in the army.

He said that he contacted President Asif Zardari, Alftaf Hussain, Asrar Zehri, Fazaul Rehaman, Nawaz Sharif and other leaders to solicit their view on governor’s rule. “When you wake up in the morning, there would be governor’s rule,” he assured. The PM also announced that compensation to the victim families will be paid even before January 31, as demanded by the protesters. False FIR registered against Shia people would also be withdrawn, the prime minister said.

PM said that he had no words to express his emotions over this barbaric incident, adding that Banazir Bhutto was killed by same forces. “I am equally partner in this grief,” he added. He said that “I am in Quetta since morning and met with administration governors, and all politicians across the country and all leaders viewed this a big tragedy for the whole country.”

PM Ashraf expressed the hope that as an executive of the province, Governor Magsi would take all necessary steps to hold those behind the Quetta bombings accountable. The prime minister asked protestors to inform Governor Balochistan and FC Commander about their problems, adding that action would be taken immediately. He assured the protestors that federal government would fully cooperate with the governor.

When the prime minster made the announcement of governor’s rule, the protesters shout slogans of triumph and thanked the Almighty as well as the prime minister for being sensitive to their grievances. Apart from Quetta, rallies and sit-ins were also staged in many other cities including Lahore and Karachi against the Quetta carnage and apparent government coldness to the victim families.

Earlier, the prime minister arrived in Quetta to defuse the tension gripping the capital of restive Balochistan after the deadly blasts that claimed more than 120 lives and left more than 150 wounded. The prime minister met with Balochistan governor at the Governor House and later held a detailed meeting with parliamentary leaders of provincial coalition government.

Sources said that PM expressed serious resentment over absence of Chief Minister Raisani in the province at the time of such a crisis. The said that PPP Balochistan President Sadiq Umrani recommended for dismissal of Raisani’s government and imposition of Governor Rule in the province, as demanded by the protesters. Other PPP men as well as leaders of coalition parties including the Awami National Party and independent members agreed on in-house change but they outrightly rejected taking any unconstitutional step against provincial government, the sources added.

They said that Advocate General Amanullah Kanrani briefed the PM on constitutional issues involving the possible options. He told the PM that as per the constitution, consultation with chief minister was essential before imposing governor’s rule and deployment of Army in the city. Moreover, he told that adoption of a resolution by Balochistan Assembly asking the federal government for imposition of governor’s rule was required. Sources said that Kanrani told the PM that at a time of deep crisis the president could impose emergency only for ten days and if not extended through parliament, it would automatically expire after ten days.

The Hazara tribe leader Mir Sahdat Hazara also visited Governor House and apprised the PM about the demands of the protesters. Sources said that federal government had sought resignation from CM Raisani while the latter had also agreed to an in-house change in provincial government.