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QUETTA: Provincial chi­ef of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in Balochistan Sar­dar Yar Muhammad Rind said on Friday that all provinces should have equal electoral college votes for the election of the prime minister.

Talking to delegates of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) during a luncheon he hosted in their honour at the press club here, he claimed that such a system would bring stability in the country and eliminate the sense of deprivation among people of small provinces.

The PFUJ delegates and office-bearers of affiliated unions are in Quetta these days to participate in a biennial meeting being organised at the press club. The meeting began on Friday.

Mr Rind was of the opinion that small provinces had always been deprived of their due rights. This trend had incited nationalist sentiments in the country and now people talked about their provinces and not Pakistan, he added.

PTI leader says small provinces have always been deprived of their due rights

He stressed the need for a change in rulers’ attitude towards Balochistan, saying that “this province is the future of Pakistan”.

The PTI leader accused the outgoing chief secretary of Balochistan of plundering billions of rupees.

In recent years, he said, Rs8.5 billion had been spent on Quetta city, but no improvement could be found in the city’s civic situation. The situation in other parts of Balochistan is also very bad. “Corruption, lawlessness, injustices and other problems are rampant in the province,” he added.

Mr Rind said since the independence of the country Balochistan had seen many insurgencies. “We need to ask ourselves a question, why insurgencies occur in Balochistan time and again.”

He said both sardars and Baloch nationalists had ruled the province, but they did nothing for its downtrodden people. Similarly, he added, successive governments in Islamabad and the establishment had never tried to provide any relief to the people of this province.

“As a Baloch I say that Balochistan is part of Pakistan,” he said.

However, he stressed the need for resolving the issues of the province and said that the situation would worsen if problems of the province were not addressed.

Mocking the speech of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Gwadar on Thursday in which he had said that Pakistan would become Asia’s tiger and Balochistan would become Pakistan’s tiger, he said despite all such tall claims the government had failed to provide clean drinking water to Gwadar.

Mr Rind said he recently visited Makran division and saw there that people were facing a number of problems.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2017