Assembly demands end to military operations in Balochistan

April 8th, 2008 - 8:56 am ICT by admin  

Benazir Bhutto

Islamabad, Apr.8 (ANI): In its inaugural session on Monday, the Balochistan Assembly unanimously adopted at least five resolutions, including one calling for an immediate cessation of military operations in the province.
According to the Daily Times and other Pakistan dailies, another resolution called for the release of Balochistan Nationalist Party-Mengal chief Akhtar Mengal and all detained political activists, and the rehabilitation of Balochistan’s internally displaced people.
The House also demanded a UN-led investigation into former premier Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.
Twelve provincial assembly moved a separate resolution that demanded a judicial inquiry into the murder of former Balochistan Governor Akbar Bugti and former MPA Balaach Marri.
Another related resolution called for a UN-supervised probe into their murders, and demanded that Bugti’s body be handed over to his family.
The fourth resolution demanded the abolition of the police and restoration of the Levies Force.
The final resolution passed condemned the publication of blasphemous caricatures of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) in Danish newspapers, and asked the government to suspend diplomatic ties with Denmark. Notably, there was no debate or opposition to any of the resolutions.
Earlier, 62 members of the 65-member assembly were sworn in by outgoing speaker Jamal Shah Kakar.
The session turned chaotic when BNP members refused to take the oath in Urdu. The BNP’s Mir Asadullah Baloch demanded that they be administered the oath in Balochi. He said his demand was valid under Article 251 of the Constitution.
JUI-F Parliamentary Leader Maulana Abdul Wasay asked the speaker not to concede. “Allowing [the] oath [taking] in Balochi amounts to promoting disharmony among the other nationalities in the province,” he said. After heated debate, the speaker agreed to administer the oath in Balochi. This prompted a walk-out by the JUI-F members. However, PPP leaders managed to bring them back.
The ANP members followed suit, and asked for the oath in Pushto. After their request was entertained, similar demands were made by others, for oaths in Hazargi, Bravi and Arabic. The speaker dealt with the issue adeptly, refusing to administer a second oath to those who had been sworn-in in Urdu.
The assembly will elect a new speaker and deputy speaker today. (ANI)

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