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PML-N ready to accept new NFC Award formula

May 25, 2009

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'The PML-N is fully determined to fight for political rights of the people of Balochistan in the same spirit it has demonstrated during the movement for the restoration of deposed judges and independence of judiciary,' said Sharif. - Online photo

LAHORE The Pakistan Muslim League-N is ready to accept a new formula for distribution of resources among federating units by considering factors other than population in the National Finance Commission Award.

PML-N chief and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said this while talking to Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) president Mehmood Khan Achakzai who called on him at the former's Raiwind residence here on Sunday.

'We do believe in reviewing the current distribution of natural resources among the four provinces,' Sharif told his guest from Balochistan.

He said that as his party (PML-N) strongly advocated provincial autonomy as enshrined in the 1973 Constitution, it believed that distribution of resources between the federation and the federating units would soften their relationships as well as eliminate the chances of misunderstanding amongst the provinces.

Sharif, during his first tenure as the prime minister, had sacrificed Punjab's share in water distribution bringing it down to Sindh's share of 37 per cent and offering this sacrificed part to Balochistan and NWFP in the 1991 Water Apportionment Accord.

Talking about the ruthless killings of Baloch leaders, Sharif demanded the government hold an impartial, unbiased and independent judicial inquiry duly backed by a credible process. 'An independent and unbiased judicial inquiry is the only way to heel the wounds of the people.'

Both the leaders discussed the prevailing political situation in the country and agreed that the country was facing enormous problems and the only way to get rid of the worsening situation and to resolve the existing crises was to demonstrate national unity and develop a consensus across the country.

About the issues being faced by the people of Balochistan, the PML-N leader reiterated his party's stance that it would extend its full support to the forces striving to achieve their political rights.

'The PMLN is fully determined to fight for political rights of the people of Balochistan in the same spirit it has demonstrated during the movement for the restoration of deposed judges and independence of judiciary,' he added.

Expressing his solidarity with the people of the restive province, Nawaz said 'Development process is inevitable to eradicate the sense of deprivation from the people but even the development becomes meaningless if the people are not granted their fundamental and political rights.'

Achakzai lauded the principled stance of the PML-N on the Balochistan issue. 'Certainly, the strong message conveyed by the PML-N leader showing his solidarity with the people of Balochistan will prove to be a milestone towards strengthening the federation.'

He invited the former prime minister to visit Balochistan for bringing the province into the mainstream.

PML-N president and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and PkMAP secretary-general Akram Shah, a former senator, were also present on the occasion.