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QUETTA: National Party (NP) president Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo said on Thursday that attempts to roll back the 18th Amendment would be foiled and rights of the provinces would be protected.

Speaking at a press conference here, he claimed that the civil and military establishment of the country had not accepted the rights of the provinces and wanted to make changes in the constitution according to its desires.

Mr Bizenjo was accompanied by former chief minister of Balochistan Dr Malik Baloch, Tahir Bizenjo, Kabir Ahmed Muham­mad Shahi, Akram Dashti and Yasmin Lehri.

“The civil and military establishment has not accepted the 18th Amendment and it opposed constitutional rights of the provinces given to the federating units through the constitutional amendment,” Senator Bizenjo said.

He said that the NP would resist all such attempts in and outside the parliament with the help of other democratic forces in the country. He said his party would not compromise on the rights of the provinces, adding that “democratic forces will defeat anti-democratic forces”.

Hasil Bizenjo says rights of provinces will be protected

Terming the July 25 elections engineered and rigged, he said his party rejected its results. Massive rigging was committed in the elections in favour of only one party, he added.

The senator said there was an opportunity to pull the country out of the crisis it was facing today by holding a free, fair and transparent election. But, he added, the country’s establishment had missed that opportunity and pushed the country into a more difficult situation.

He said on July 25 he was in Awaran where three candidates, including Khair Jan Baloch, had informed the returning officer concerned about complaints of rigging at some polling stations. But, he added, the returning officer did nothing to stop the rigging.

Referring to the defeat of his party in the elections, he said the establishment had punished the NP for supporting democracy and the supremacy of parliament by stealing its public mandate.

He said the pre-poll rigging started when an elected government was toppled in Balochistan and the government of a king’s party was installed in its place. He claimed that people were forcibly inducted into the party.

Senator Bizenjo alleged that the king’s party was again being helped to form government in Balochistan so that with its help resources of the province could be exploited. However, he warned that the NP would not allow anyone to loot the resources of Balochistan

Criticising the Election Commission of Pakistan for what he called its negligence in conducting a fair election, he said the NP would continue its protest against the “engineered election”. He said more protests would be held against the rigging in Peshawar and Quetta.

The senator said the NP would hold meetings of its central committee on Oct 28, 29 and 30 to discuss the current political situation in the country.

Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2018