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Ruling allies join Senate walkout over Gwadar water issue

July 10, 2012


A view of the Senate in Islamabad. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: In a rare show of unity, parliamentarians from both side of aisle in Upper House of Parliament on Monday joined Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo of National Party in token walkout from the House on the issue of shortage of potable water in Gwadar.

Speaking on a point of order, Mir Hasil Bizenjo said that people were forced to migrate to Iran and Karachi due to severe shortage of drinking water in Gwadar.

He said that the people of the area was facing acute water shortage for the past one month, but the government was not paying heed to address this basic issue.

Bizenjo said that potable water resources have been dried up and the people were forced to buy a water tanker by paying Rs 18,000.

He said contaminated water was being supplied by those tankers which transport oil from Iran to Pakistan.

He said that despite tall claims of former ruler Parvez Musharraf and incumbent Balochistan government of spending an amount of Rs.130 billion on development of Gwadar no solid step was taken for proper provision of potable water to people in the area.

Mir Hasil requested all the political parties to join hand and stage token walkout to show solidarity with people of Gwadar.

He also strongly condemned the recent incident in which 16 innocent people were gunned down in Balochistan.

The appeal elicited unexpected reaction as not only the opposition but the ruling PPP and its key allies became part of the protest.

Raja Zafarul Haq of the PML-N termed the situation national disaster and said that the issue should be taken seriously.

Mushahidullah Syed of PML-Q, said that Balochistan was a serious issue and  recommendations of the Committee on Balochistan headed by Ch Shujjat Hussain should be implemented in letter and spirit.

Mian Raza Rabbani said that the government had made numerous efforts to address Balochistan issues but these remained unsolved.

Kalsoom Parveen of BNP-Awami said that his party with Mir Hasil and Baloch people on the issue.

Maulana Sherani of JUI, Afraisab Khattak of ANP, Col (r) Tahir Hussain of MQM and Saifullah Magsi also spoke on the occasion and later stage token walkout from the House to show solidarity with Mir Hasil.

Leader of the House, Jehangir Badar said that mere walk out from the House was not a solution to the problem. He suggested making joint efforts for solving the issue.

Mir Hasil thanked all the parties for their support and suggested that two desalination plants should be installed in Gwadar and Pasni on emergency basis as water tankers were not a solution to the problem.

Nayyar Hussain asked the leader of House to take up the matter with Chief Minister Balochsitan, Chief Secretary and officials of NDMA and PDMA and submit detail report in the House on Tuesday.

Later the House was adjourned to meet again on Tuesday at morning 10.00 am.