No to oil exploration work in Balochistan
QUETTA:Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch on Friday threatened to pull the plug on oil exploration work if his province is not handed its due shares, as guaranteed by the 18th amendment of the Constitution.
“Under the 18th Amendment [of constitution], 50 per cent share should be given to Balochistan from OGDCL, PPL and all other companies,” the chief minister said on the floor of the Balochistan Assembly.
Dr Abdul Malik’s warning came during a debate on a resolution advanced by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MPA Samina Khan to shift the head office of Sui Southern Gas from Karachi to Quetta.
Dr Baloch said the failure to follow the 18th Amendment is tantamount to rejection of the Constitution.
While presenting the resolution, Samina Khan said large reservoirs of gas have been discovered in Balochistan and this gas was being delivered to every corner of the country from the western province, yet the administrative set-up of the company, including its head office, is in Karachi.
According to her, the location of the gas company’s head office is creating problems for the people of Balochistan as they have to travel to Karachi to redress several complaints, draining them economically and wasting their precious time.
She recommended that the provincial authorities formally request the federal government to shift the head office of the Sui Sothern Gas to Quetta. Her resolution was unanimously adopted by the house.
Speaking on the resolution, Dr Baloch lamented that the conduct of gas companies, including OGDCL and PPL, does not even match the behaviour adopted by Britain’s East India Company towards the Asian subcontinent.
“I have explicitly told the gas companies that they are [mainly] responsible for the political fire that flares up in Balochistan,” he said, adding that the same companies involved Nawab Akbar Bugti in unnecessary disputes.
“I have asked the companies to give Balochistan its due share as per the Constitution or else they won’t be allowed any further exploration,” the chief minister warned.
Dr Baloch also congratulated all the newly elected senators of Balochistan after they were elected peacefully.
Mama Qadir and Farzana Majeed issue
The chief minister said he would take up the issue of not allowing Baloch activists Mama Qadir and Farzana Majeed to board a New York bound flight from Jinnah International Airport.
The issue was raised by Balochistan National Party chief Sardar Mengal on a point of order during Friday’s session. Mengal said it is beyond comprehension how the names of the chairman and vice chairman of Baloch Missing Persons Mama Qadir and Farzana Majeed were put on the Exit Control List.
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