Islamabad mindset out to annul 18th Amendment: Malik
23 December, 2013
KARACHI: Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has said that efforts to annul the 18th Amendment are being made to take away Balochistan's provincial autonomy and its rights.
Addressing a conference on the equal ownership of oil and gas resources, Dr Malik said that they had tried hard to implement the 18th Amendment in letter and spirit, however, the mindset present in Islamabad was out to roll it back. He said that the presence of an Education and Health Ministry in the federal government was illegal and unconstitutional.
Dr Sikandar, provincial Adviser for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah, Dr Qaiser Bengali, Gul Faraz Ahmed, Dawood University of Engineering and Technology Vice Chancellor Faizullah Abbasi, Javed Hussain, Syed Taj Haider and others also spoke on the occasion.
The PPP Karachi leader Latif Mughal, H M Ghanchi, Manzoor Badayuni and people from all walks of life attended the conference. Dr Malik noted that the provinces' share in oil and gas resources was insufficient, and that it should be increased. He said that the Baloch people were not being employed in PPL and OGDCL. He argued that when the East India Company came into existence, it employed the local population as well, but the Baloch were still deprived of their rights.
He claimed that billions of rupees were distributed among feudal lords and secret funds amounting to billions were present. He vowed to raise a voice for the rights of the Baloch in the Council of Common Interests.
Addressing the conference, Dr Sikander said that in the past Shaheed Benazir Bhutto tried to establish an oil refinery in Badin, but the bureaucracy was against it which was why the plan could not be realised.
The Balochistan CM said that the opinion for restricting the export of petroleum goods and raw material carried weight. Dr Bengali said that crude oil from Iran could be imported and refined for use, but the idea was baselessly rejected.
Later, talking to media men, Balochistan CM Dr Abdul Malik Baloch said in connection with the issue of missing persons that the people who were participating in a long march from Karachi to Islamabad, had got the constitutional right to do so for the love of their kin, hold sit-ins or go on hunger strikes.
Dr Malik said that the situation in Balochistan was improving but mutilated corpses were giving way to tension in the province. He said that the province's demand for electricity was 1,500MW, and the province had got 600MW, adding that the provincial government had reservations about handing over the electricity network to China.