QUETTA: Sardar Akhtar Mengal should part his ways with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led coalition in the centre before taking a dig at the Balochistan government, Chief Minister Jam Kamal Alyani said on Monday with reference to criticism of the provincial government by the chief of his own faction of BNP.
“We agree with several demands made by the Balochistan National Party in its six-point agenda, but the provincial government is utilising all resources to address problems like the missing persons issue,” Mr Alyani said while speaking to a private news channel.
The BNP-Mengal should have known that it was in an alliance with PTI in the centre, the chief minister said sarcastically. “Before entering into confrontation mode, Sardar Mengal should end this alliance.”
The chief minister said “our own Baloch leaders” had always ruled the province, and not people from Punjab or Sindh, but they did nothing to redress grievances. “In fact the attitude of previous chief ministers was detrimental to Balochistan’s interests.”
In reply to a question about the financial crisis in the province, Mr Alyani lamented that his government was left with only 15 per cent of the budget to spend on development after disbursement of salaries and other administrative expenditure. “Since the previous governments focused on new appointments and promotions, they didn’t utilise 40 to 45 billion rupees properly, landing the province in a financial quagmire,” the chief minister added.
He said scrutiny had revealed that “60pc of the schemes claimed to have been executed by previous governments” existed on paper only.
Akhtar Mengal, during a visit to Khuzdar’s District Headquarters Hospital, accused the provincial government of being unconcerned about the poor.
“Balochistan’s poor have no access to even basic medicines like aspirin and panadol. Unfortunately our own people are responsible for this state of affairs and they should be held accountable,” Mr Mengal said. “No ruler made any effort to improve the life of the common man. The ruling elite in Islamabad never treated the poor as human beings,” the BNP-M chief said. He announced a grant of Rs5 million and a stabiliser for the hospital.
“Being a representative of Balochistan I will continue raising my voice at every forum to highlight the people’s grievances,” he said.
Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2019