ISLAMABAD - In an attempt to win back BNP-Mengal’s support in the federal government, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser Saturday formed a sub-committee to develop comprehensive Term of Reference (ToRs) encompassing all the issues relating to Balochistan.

The decision to form a sub-committee on Balochistan issues was taken in the maiden meeting of the Special Parliamentary Committee on Balochistan.

The Speaker appointed a four members Sub-Committee under the Convenership of Dr. Fehmida Mirza, Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination. It was also decided that Representative from Balochistan National Party and Minister for Defence, Prevaiz Khattak would be specially invited to assist the Sub-Committee while developing ToRs.

BNP-Mengal, coalition partner of the federal government, recently detached itself from the federal government’s fold. The government side had twice made failed attempts to woo its coalition partners and later decided to resolve this important by discussing it in a parliamentary committee.

Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, chairing the committee meeting, said that Balochistan and its issues have always been the top priority of the present government. He said that the parliament and public representatives are the best option to put forth the solution of the socio-economic issues faced by Balochistan and its people.

He said that the incumbent government has firmly resolved that Pakistan’s development and its progress is attached with peace and progress of the Balochistan.

The Speaker said that the CPEC emanates from Gilgit-Baltistan and culminates in Balochistan increasing its significance, therefore, ensuring transfer of the real benefits of CPEC to the local people needs to be looked into by this Parliamentary Committee.  He said that issuance of Executive Order regarding immediate implementation of six percent employment quota in all Federal Departments expresses the seriousness of the Prime Minister Imran Khan for addressing the issues of Balochistan.

He said that parliamentary committees in the Parliamentary system across the world have a recommendatory role to play and this Committee will make its all-out efforts to recommend the best possible solution of the issues faced by Balochistan.

Minster for Inter-provincial Coordination Dr. Fehmida Mirza said that Balochistan and resolution of its issues have always been the top priority of the Parliamentarians across the country. She pointed out that comprehensive TORs are essential to make this committee more effective.

Minister for Defence Pervaiz Khattak mentioned that the government had taken various steps for mitigating the grievances of the people of Balochistan and assured continuation of that resolve in future too.

Representing the Balochistan National Party Chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal, MNA Agha Hassan Baloch contended that the Balochistan issues have been getting worse since 2006 which needed to be addressed forthwith.

 He suggested examining the recommendations formulated by a Parliamentary Committee headed by Ch. Shujaat Hussain after meeting late Nawab Akbar Khan Bughti. He also suggested to look into the issue of missing persons besides meeting with the families to hear their grievances especially in Baloch dominating districts. He also said that BNP also demands to make public the CPEC related project details in Balochistan.

Other Members of the Special Committee on Balochistan Nawab Aslam Bhootani, Engineer Sabir Hussian Kaim Khani and Ehsan Ullah Reiki, Members of the Special Committee on Balochistan, stressed that parliament should play its role in resolution of the genuine issues of the province rotting since decades.

They said that CPEC was undoubtedly a game changer for Pakistan and the province of Balochistan, thus government should ensure deliverance of their right to the people. They expressed their confidence that this Committee under the stewardship of Speaker Asad Qaiser would take the lead. 

The meeting was attended by Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri, Federal Ministers, Dr. Fehmida Mirza and Pervaiz Khattak and MNAs Engr. Sabir Hussain Kaim Khani, Mr. Ehsanullah Reki, Nawab Muhammad Aslam Bhootani and Agha Hassan Baloch, Malik Aamir Dogar, attended the meeting as special invitees.