Opposition MPAs in Balochistan end protest after withdrawal of FIR

Published July 5, 2021
In this file photo, opposition members lay siege to the gates of the provincial assembly of Balochistan. — DawnNewsTV/File
In this file photo, opposition members lay siege to the gates of the provincial assembly of Balochistan. — DawnNewsTV/File

QUETTA: The protesting oppo­sition parties in the Balochistan Assembly called off their sit-in on the premises of Bijli Road Police Station on Sunday after the provincial government iss­ued a notification withdrawing the FIR registered against the opposition parties’ lawmakers and their supporters.

The development came after a government delegation, headed by Home Minister Ziaullah Langove, went to the Bijli Road Police Station along with provincial ministers Mir Arif Jan Muhammad Hasni, Mir Saleem Ahmed Khosa and Mobeen Khilji and held negotiations with the protesting MPAs.

The delegation informed the opposition members that the government had withdrawn the FIR registered against the lawmakers and an official notification had been issued in this regard.

Case was registered after violence occurred on premises of Balochistan Assembly

The opposition members were provided a copy of the notification issued by the home department. After reading the notification, the opposition lawmakers announced that they were ending their two-week-long sit-in which they had staged on the premises of the police station after the latter had refused to arrest them on the basis of the FIR registered against them.

Police had registered the case opposition MPAs and around 20 of their supporters in connection with a demonstration on the assembly premises on June 18 and locking the gates of the Balochistan Assembly to stop entry of the treasury members to attend the budget session and block the presentation of the provincial budget for the financial year 2021-22.

On the demand of the opposition parties, the government had removed the names of opposition lawmakers from the FIR, but the case had not been withdrawn. The opposition had refused to call off their protest until the case was completely withdrawn.

Announcing the end of the protest, opposition leader Advocate Malik Sikandar Khan said that since the government had accepted the opposition parties’ demand to withdraw the FIR and an official notification had also been issued by authorities concerned, “we are ending our protest on the police station premises, but our protest will continue till the government makes the opposition’s development projects part of the new PSDP”.

Later, the opposition members left the police station and went to MPAs’ hostel in a procession.

Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2021

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