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PM Gilani sets up committee on Balochistan APC

22 February, 2012

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ISLAMABAD: The government has intensified its efforts to hold an All-Parties Conference (APC) on Balochistan and constituted a high level committee of ministers and parliamentarians to contact all the political forces in the country and fix a date.

The decision to convene the APC on Balochistan was taken by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani last week when he spoke to the newspapers' editors.

The prime minister constituted a committee to contact politicians, inside and outside of parliament, to convince them to agree upon a mutually convenient date for holding the conference. The committee comprises of leader of the House in Senate, Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, Minister for Kashmir Affairs Manzoor Wattoo, Minister for Textile Industry Makhdoom Shahbuddin, Minister for Religious Affairs Khursheed Shah, Minister for Science and Technology Changez Jamali, Minister of Communication Dr Arbad Alamgir, Minister of State for Industries Ayatullah Durrani, senators Mian Raza Rabbani, Jahangir Badr and MNAs, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Nazar Muhammad Gondal, former law minister Babar Awan and Sumsam Ali Bokhari.

According to the official circles, the government is quite perturbed over the US resolution and has sensitised the situation in the troubled province where law and order situation has reached dangerous level.

"No doubt, the crisis in Balochistan is alarming, which needs to be tackled at its earliest," Shahabuddin told our sources by phone from Vehari.

When asked whether the APC could turn out to be a positive step towards resolving the issue, Shahabuddin said that he was quite optimistic about the outcome of the conference.

The minister also confided to this scribe that Interior Minister Rahman Malik has been contacting the militant groups in Balochistan to bring them to the negotiating table.

US wants resolution of Balochistan issue through political process

US State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday, "We encourage all parties in Balochistan to work out their differences peacefully and through a political process."

"The United States respects the territorial integrity of Pakistan. Members of Congress introduce legislations on many foreign affairs topics. But they do not in any way imply US government endorsement of those positions. And we don't generally comment on pending legislations," Nuland said at the daily briefing.

End.

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