QUETTA, June 9: Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has called upon the prime minister, the army top brass and militants on the mountains to cooperate with him in resolving the issues of missing persons, dumping of mutilated bodies and corruption in Balochistan.

The province is burning and the situation required everyone to work earnestly in view of the seriousness of the situation, he said while addressing the Balochistan Assembly here on Sunday after his unanimous election as chief minister. “Enough is enough,” he said while referring to the malaise of corruption. He announced that there would be no secret and discretionary funds at his disposal and the expenses of his secretariat would be curtailed.

Dr Malik was the only candidate for the post and 55 of the 65 members of the assembly who attended the session on Sunday praised him and reposed confidence in him.

Besides his own National Party, Dr Malik was supported by his coalition partners, the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and the PML-Nawaz, and also members of JUI-Fazl, Awami National Party and Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen.

The new chief minister paid tribute to Nawab Yousuf Magsi, Mir Aziz Kurd, Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo, Khan Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan for their struggle during the independence movement against the British rule and for democratic movement in the country.

He said Balochistan faced serious issues like missing persons, targeted killings, dumping of mutilated bodies, kidnappings for ransom and religious extremism and, therefore, the prime minister, the army leadership and armed groups on the mountains should realise the gravity of the situation and come to the negotiating table to steer the province out of the crisis.

He urged the centre to fulfil the quota of Balochistan in the federal and foreign services and in autonomous bodies to accommodate the jobless youth and help overcome unemployment.

Dr Baloch announced that his government would not accept illegal distribution of land in Gwadar and Pasni and allotments made in violation of the law would be cancelled.

He said the government would foil a conspiracy to create misunderstanding among the Baloch, Pakhtuns, Hazaras and settlers.

The chief minister said the society could change only if the 65 members of the house ensured that they would oppose unlawful measures to the benefit of the corrupt.

Dr Baloch said he would not accept the recommendation of any legislator for transfer and posting of government officials, including doctors and teachers.

He warned officials of disciplinary action if they declined to work in rural areas.

“The VIP culture has badly affected our behaviour and we will have to abandon it if we want to improve things,” he said.

“We should strictly adopt austerity, overcome economic mismanagement and use the government resources in a transparent manner to the benefit of the common people.”

He said the provinces had received adequate autonomy in the 18th Amendment and “it is our responsibility to solve the problems in education, health, mining and agriculture sectors”.

He said his government would fully protect the rights of women and of Christian and Hindu communities.

He said efforts would be made to bring back Hindus who had shifted to other places for the sake of security.

Dr Baloch assured the house that all steps would be taken to resolve tribal feuds and organise the Levies force on modern lines to enable them to play an effective role.

APP adds: “I pledge that I will not take even a single paisa from secret and discretionary funds and I also announce abolition of all secret and discretionary funds on a permanent basis.”

Referring to the problems of the province, especially of law and order, he said: “I am optimistic that the federal government and the military leadership will also play their role in resolving these issues.”

Dr Baloch said he was ready to meet the Baloch youths living on mountains to bring them into the mainstream.

He said the culture of using social connections for postings had damaged the structure of the law-enforcement agencies and resulted in an increase in crimes.

The chief minister said he was determined to solve the problems of the citizens of Quetta, especially the shortage of potable water.

Parliamentary leaders of different parties, including Sardar Sanaullah Zehri of the PML-N, Maulana Abdul Wasey of JUI-F, Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal of PKMAP, Zamark Piralizai of ANP and Sheikh Jaffar Mandokhel of PML-Q, felicitated Dr Baloch and expressed the hope that he would pay special attention to the issue of law and order.

The assembly session was chaired by speaker Jan Mohammad Jamali.

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