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Committee calls for reconciliation in Balochistan

October 11, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Oct 11: The special cabinet committee on Balochistan in its report submitted to the federal cabinet on Thursday recommended that political reconciliation should be given top priority.

It suggested that dialogue with the ‘legitimate’ Baloch leadership should be initiated, interference in the cultural regime and tribal system be avoided and elders should be approached to facilitate the process of dialogue and closure of camps set up and run by militants.

Briefing the media on decisions taken at the cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira categorically said there was no room for dialogue with those who did not recognise the national flag of Pakistan.

He said the committee’s recommendations dealt with both political and administrative aspects and the federal government was already taking administrative measures under which a policy had already been devised to appoint honest and dedicated officials in Balochistan. The report calls for completing the recommendations in three months and submitting a progress report to the cabinet at its each meeting.

The committee recommended that all federal ministries and their attached departments and corporations should inform the cabinet within one week about vacancies of Balochistan quota and any violation in this regard. The existing vacancies should be filled within one month with those holding legitimate domicile of Balochistan.

Missing persons, if in the custody of any agency, should be produced before courts within two weeks to bring them to the ambit of law. Serious and concerted efforts should be made at the federal and provincial levels to trace the missing persons as per the list submitted to the Supreme Court.

A comprehensive investigative report on all aspects of the issue should be submitted to the cabinet in 15 days.

The committee recommended that the next general election must be held in a fair and transparent manner and efforts be made to ensure participation of all political parties in the electoral process. Whosoever attains the majority must be allowed and facilitated to form the government.

Measures already taken in the “Balochistan package” should be debated and publicised. The committee’s recommendations should be made public and shared with all stakeholders in order to solicit their support.

It calls for enhanced diplomatic efforts to stop foreign interference in the affairs of Balochistan. Foreign nationals should travel to the province strictly in accordance with the government policy.

As part of the administrative measures, the committee recommended that a provincial apex committee comprising the governor, the chief minister and the corps commander of Quetta should be formed to ensure an integrated approach in all maters relating to law and order. The committee should meet at least fortnightly.

The existing post of home secretary should be re-designated as additional chief secretary (home) exclusively to look after the maintenance of law and order situation in the province and to enhance the capacity building of police and Levies to curb insurgency, sectarian killings, kidnappings for ransom and other criminal activities.

A standing committee comprising representatives from various religions and sects should be formed by the provincial government to secure religious and sectarian harmony.