KARACHI: Former federal minister and senator Javed Jabbar has said that he did not seek appointment to the National Finance Commission (NFC) rarther he had accepted the august position only because of insistence of the province’s chief executive.
In a statement sent to Dawn on Sunday, he also said that his “regular association” with the province spanned about 45 years and that he had worked in various capacities to alleviate poverty and injustices and to promote health and education in the province.
“In response to questions raised by some about whether one has any previous or present association with Balochistan, and experience in fields relevant to NFC: one respects the right of persons to be critical. At the same time, for the record: I did not seek this nomination and accepted it only because of the kind insistence of the Chief Minister,” Mr Jabbar said.
Says he accepted NFC post on CM’s insistence
“While it is correct that one is not a financial specialist or economist, the CM and self view one’s task in the NFC as that of presenting a political economy perspective of Balochistan’s special, distinct requirements and rights. One has modest experience in the subject of political economy. The very competent Finance Secretary of Balochistan will do full justice to the specialist financial, economic dimensions. While it is also correct that I am not a resident of Balochistan, one is a citizen of Pakistan and about 45 per cent of the territorial dimension of my national identity is derived from Balochistan!,” said the statement.
“One’s regular association with Balochistan spans about 45 years. It began with the filming of a documentary for the UN Habitat conference, Canada, in far-flung areas of Balochistan in 1975 to depict conditions of life for the very poor and disadvantaged.
“Onward of the early 1980s as part of voluntary work, and later as co-founder/present Chairperson of SPO (www.spopk.org), one of Pakistan’s leading grass-roots development organisations, with offices in Quetta and Turbat, one oversees work with dozens of communities across the province to alleviate poverty and injustices and to promote health and education. Have also conducted several initiatives and seminars in the Province on the subjects of environment, health, population, (and) media freedom.
“As present Chairman and co-founder in 1995 with Dr Hafiz Pasha of the highly reputed independent research centre known as the Social Policy and Development Centre, Karachi, (www.spdc.org.pk) one has humbly helped oversee the analysis and publication of reports on all past NFC Awards, including focus on the particular needs of Balochistan. As Member of the National Board of Governors of SOS Children’s Villages of Pakistan whose nationwide work includes the establishment of the SOS Village in Quetta, one remains familiar with care for the orphaned and abandoned children of Balochistan,” wrote Mr Jabbar. “As a visiting lecturer at major education and training institutions in Balochistan for the past 35 years, one strives to contribute to the province’s social progress.
As a former Senator and thrice Minister in Federal Cabinets, have been in regular contact with eminent political and social leaders of the Province from different parties and sectors, have hosted development-related events in which past Governors, Chief Ministers, Speakers of the Assembly, Ministers, senior officials and leaders of civil society have participated.”
The former minister said he would accept the verdict of the Balochistan High Court in a petition filed against the validity of his appointment as a member of the commission. “In view of a petition having been filed in the Balochistan High Court on 15th May 2020 which, among other grounds, questions the validity of my appointment as the non-statutory Member of NFC from the Province, will accept the final judicial verdict,” he said.
“Regardless of continuation with NFC, my personal esteem for the people and the province is forever!”
Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2020