Balochistan govt 'sold' for Rs3.5bn, claims PM's former aide

Published March 4, 2022
Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind. — DawnNewsTV
Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind. — DawnNewsTV

Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind, the PTI's parliamentary leader in the Balochistan Assembly, has claimed that the provincial government was sold for Rs3.5 billion.

He made the remarks while speaking on DawnNewsTV show 'Live with Adil Shahzeb' on Thursday night, a day after tendering his resignation a second time as special assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Power and Natural Resources for Balochistan.

Last time, he had withdrawn his resignation after assurances from the prime minister.

During the show, in which he spilled the beans about political upheaval in the province, Rind explained his reasons behind wanting to join the PTI, stating that he wanted Balochistan to get the same rights as the other provinces.

He claimed that the chief minister of the province was not elected by the votes of the Baloch, but was appointed at the will of "those in Islamabad". Rind said that there were "three contractors" and some "personalities" in Islamabad that had played a part in appointing Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo the chief minister.

He doubled down on his claims that the Balochistan government was "changed" for a price of Rs3.5 billion, adding that ministries, ministers, cabinet portfolios, secretaries and departments were "sold".

Asked whether Bizenjo took the money, Rind replied in the negative, claiming the chief minister served as a "facilitator" to collect the money and deliver it to Islamabad.

However, Rind did not name anyone, claiming that "major personalities" lived in the capital. "Power politics take place here [in Islamabad], the power corridors are here. Our fate and our destiny is decided [in Islamabad]," he said, reiterating that the chief minister was not elected through the votes of the people of Balochistan.

He said that there were several people who boasted that all decisions regarding Balochistan passed through the "corridors of their homes", but refrained once again from taking any names. "I would have named them but I can't because I am not an eyewitness," he said.

He also called on the prime minister to reveal the names of those politicians who allegedly paid Rs700 million to become senators from Balochistan. "Why does PM Imran not divulge the names? Why does he not punish them or challenge it in the Election Commission of Pakistan. Why are they not de-seated?"

Rind said that the prime minister should also expose the names of those who sold the Balochistan government for Rs3.5bn and those who bought it. "Both of them are guilty. PM Imran should expose both of them in front of the nation."

He said that a commission should be formed to investigate these claims, adding that he would be the first person to testify in front of it.

Asked about the reasons for the fallout between him and the prime minister, Rind said that he did not have an "ego" but had pride in his family background and his character.

"I am not an egotistical person. Why would I have joined Imran Khan if I had an ego? I joined him in the hopes that he was not a traditional politician [...] how were we to know he was such a big politician."

Rind added that he had voted for the prime minister in the hopes that he would bring real change and give the people their due rights.

Talking about the opposition's planned no-confidence motion, Rind said he had been an assembly member several times but had never seen such a "serious effort" to de-seat a government.

He also termed the current political situation "very dangerous".

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