QUETTA: Lawmakers of opposition parties in the Balochistan Assembly on Tuesday continued to protest against the resolutions adopted by the provincial assembly on Dec 10 despite a clarification given the chief minister at a parliamentary leaders’ meeting the other day.

The Balochistan Assembly on Dec 10 adopted two constitutional resolutions to promote and encourage investment and hand over the provincial executive authority to the federation under seven laws related to deciding disputes between the Reko Diq mining company and its shareholders.

Both the resolutions were passed by majority votes amid uproar from opposition members, who said the resolutions were equal to selling Reko Diq to the Centre and vowed to challenge them in a court “to protect Balochistan’s rights”.

When the assembly session began, Opposition leader Malik Sikander Khan of JUI-F took the floor on a point of order and said that without informing the agenda to MPAs, the assembly session had been summoned two days before its schedule.

He said that without informing the lawmakers the agenda of the session, the house could not adopt any resolution without sending the matter to the standing committee concerned.

He said that adoption of the two constitutional resolutions had created ‘distrust’ in the house.

Mir Akbar Mengal of BNP-M criticised the provincial government’s move and said transferring the constitutional powers of the province to the federation was a condemnable act.

He said that if the people of Balochistan had no right on federal resources, at least Balochistan resources should be left for its people.

The BNP-M leader said that Balochistan had also been deprived of gas royalty and gas development surcharge for years. “Reko Diq is the future of the people of Balochistan and we will protect it at any cost,” Mr Mengal said, adding that if the importance of the legislature was denied, the political parties would adopt the route of resistance.

The JUI-F lawmaker also opposed the two constitutional resolutions passed by the assembly and said that he had not been informed of the agenda of the assembly session. He said the adoption of the resolutions had deprived the powers of province given to it under the 18th amendment.

Minster for Planning and Development Noor Muhammad Dummar said the provincial government would not surrender its powers given to the province under the 18th amendment. During his speech, a member pointed out the lack of quorum on which the session of the house was adjourned till Dec 16.

Published in Dawn, December 14th, 2022

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