NFC nomination

Jun 02 2020

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THIS is with reference to the comment by Mohammad Hanif (May 24) about former Senator Javed Jabbar’s nomination by the government of Balochistan to the 10th NFC. The comment regrettably reflects ignorance and bias.

We are two citizens of Pakistan. We were born in Balochistan and have lived in the province for most of our lives. In one case, i.e. S.A. Rizvi, unavoidable family circumstances obliged us to shift to Rawalpindi. But we are permanent Balochistanis and Pakistanis.

Each of us is in a different professional discipline e.g. radio broadcasting and school education. Each of us belongs to one of the two main segments of the province’s population: Pakhtoons and settlers from Punjab who moved to this province generations ago.

We also share a long and close association with Javed Jabbar as volunteer-colleagues for over the past 26 years. We are members of SPO (Strengthening Participatory Organization, www.spopk.org) of which Mr Jabbar is a co-founder and presently its chairperson. We all contribute our humble shares to the SPO. Mr Jabbar has consistently provided inspiring leadership to the forum which continues to promote health care, education, poverty alleviation, relief in emergencies, advocacy for rights across the province.

SPO currently renders services in Pishin, Sibi, Bolan, Jafferabad, Lasbela, Turbat and Panjgur. Previously our relief work also covered Jhal Magsi, Naseerabad, Awaran and other areas. With his other interests in research, writing and environment, plus his vast experience of public policy, Mr Jabbar has devoted enormous efforts for the disadvantaged children, women and men of Balochistan.

Mr Hanif refers to President Musharraf and Nawab Bugti and the latter’s tragic death to imply that Mr Jabbar was associated with the Musharraf government at that time. Mr Jabbar resigned from the Musharraf cabinet in October 2000 after helping initiate several reforms that have subsequently been retained by all elected governments, including the introduction of private TV news channels and FM radio.

Nawab Bugti was killed about six years later in August 2006. The nawab knew Mr Jabbar and afforded him respect and once conveyed a verbal invitation to him to become the secretary-general of his Jamhoori Watan Party. Mr Jabbar had expressed his thanks but declined the offer. This episode is cited only to indicate how closely Mr Jabbar has remained identified with Balochistan. The number of books written by Mr Jabbar’s is 15, not 11, as incorrectly cited in the comment.

We believe he is highly qualified to represent Balochistan most effectively in the NFC.

Syed Abid Rizvi

and Zeenat Achakzai

Quetta

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2020