QUETTA: A senior leader of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M), Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini, has claimed that the federal government has violated the 18th Amendment by neglecting the Balochistan government while signing agreements with foreign countries about natural resources of the province.
In a statement issued here, he claimed that China had reservations over the reported understanding between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia for making the latter the third partner in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The senator said there were widespread speculations that the Pakistan government might have signed a deal with Saudi Arabia for giving the latter permission to explore natural mineral in Reko Diq and to establish an oil refinery in Gwadar.
He alleged that by seeking a foothold in Balochistan, Saudi Arabia wanted to use its proxies against its regional rival Iran because the province shares a lengthy border with the country. But, he added, his party would not allow anyone to turn the province into a war zone of foreign countries’ proxies.
Mr Jamaldini said that despite foreign pressure the BNP-M had always opposed attempts to use Balochistan as a battle ground for international powers.
Expressing reservations over what he called the federal government’s repeated attempts of bypassing the provincial government of Balochistan, the senator claimed that the central government had never tried to take the provincial leadership into confidence over deals it had signed on Balochistan.
He said: “We are not against development and we have always respected Saudi rulers, but we can’t tolerate centre’s behaviour of neglecting the provincial government and Baloch leadership while taking decisions about future of our people.”
Talking about Pakistan’s offer of mediation between Saudi Arabia and its opponents in Yemen, Senator Jamaldini said the government should use its influence for ending the war between them.
Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2018