Senator Babar Khan Ghauri told the Senate on Thursday that Gwadar Port was almost complete and President General Pervez Musharraf would inaugurate it on March 23.

“The Gwadar Port will usher in a new era of prosperity in Balochistan,” Ghauri said while answering questions during the Senate proceedings. He said that the federal government had launched several major projects in Balochistan to bring it at par with other provinces. Ghauri said that the government was also providing jobs to Baloch youths to remove the sense of deprivation among the people of the province.

The PML”s Pari Gul Agha joined her opposition colleagues from Balochistan in their token walkout against what they said was the federal government”s discriminatory behaviour towards their province. They were protesting over the fact that there was not a single employee from Balochistan in the Ministry of Labour, Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis among the 84 sanctioned posts of the Overseas Pakistanis Division in BPS-1 to 15. They criticised Labour and Overseas Pakistanis Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan for saying that this practice was being followed since 1979.

However, Khan said that there were five employees from Balochistan in the 353 sanctioned posts of Grade-1 to 15 in the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF), of which 91 posts were still vacant. “The ministry is following the quota. The cabinet has increased Balochistan”s quota from 3.5 to 6 percent,” he said.

“We want our rights and due share in our resources, not special job quotas. We know the situation will remain the same and the people of Balochistan will continue to be ignored in jobs,” said senators Raza Muhammad Raza and Kamran Murtaza before they walked out from the session.

Federal Communications Minister Shamim Siddiqui was caught on the back foot when Senator Dr Said asked him about the location of Mughalkot during his briefing on the Dera Ismail Khan-Mughalkot section of the national highway. Senator Raza accused Siddiqui of misleading the house and all the Baloch and NWFP senators irrespective of their party affiliation supported Raza”s stance. “The government gives the deadline of December every year but the situation is the same for the last eight years,” he said.

Chairman Mohammadmain Soomro tried to pacify Raza, but he ignored Soomro”s repeated requests and continued speaking. Soomro agreed to arrange a trip for the senators to inspect the situation on the ground.
Source: Daily Times