Saturday, 24 January 2015

Balochistan completes third phase of LG polls

QUETTA: With the election on 612 seats reserved for labourers and peasants, the third phase of local government elections was completed in Balochistan on Wednesday in a peaceful manner amid heavy security.

Balochistan is the only province in the country which has complied with a Supreme Court order regarding local bodies elections.

Of the 1,486 seats reserved for labourers and peasants, candidates on 769 had already been elected unopposed while 105 seats are vacant because no nomination paper was filed in Awaran and parts of Turbat and Panjgur.

Tough competition was witnessed on six seats in the Quetta Metropolitan Cor­pora­tion and eight in the Quetta District Council where the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and All Parties Democratic Alliance (APDA) comprising the PML-N, both factions of the JUI, PPP, ANP and Hazara Democratic Party were in the run.

Both panels have strong candidates for the top slots of the corporation and council.

The PML-N and PkMAP, coalition partners in the provincial government, are fighting for the post of mayor and district council chairman.

According to unofficial results, the PkMAP and APDA have won three seats each in the Quetta Metro­politan Corporation and four seats each in the District Council.

Dr Kalimullah, Jamshed Dotani and Yousaf Khan of the PkMAP and Nadir Ali, Faiz Lehri and Yahya Khan Nasar of the APDA have won the elections.

Observers believe that both Kalimullah Khan and Yahya Khan Nasar could be candidates for the post of Quetta mayor.

Provincial Election Commissioner Syed Sultan Bayizeed said that polling was held throughout the province peacefully and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere.

Heavy contingents of police and other security forces were deployed at 338 polling stations.

Later addressing a press conference, APDA leaders Wahid Agha, Rasheed Nasir, Aslam Rind and Raza Wakeel demanded of the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold elections for the offices of mayor, deputy mayor, chairman and deputy chairman of all local bodies’ institutions immediately.

< Dawn >

Monday, 19 January 2015

Govt committed to development of Balochistan: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said that his government was committed to the development of Balochistan with a resolve to bring it at par with the developed areas of the country.

Talking to a group of students from Loralai District at the Prime Minister’s House, Nawaz Sharif said that over the years Balochistan was neglected, adding that the province was not only rich in natural resources but also had an equally talented youth.

He said that the nation was proud of its young generation that would help Pakistan get its rightful place in the comity of nations with honour and dignity.

The prime minister said that the government would put in all resources to ensure that the children of Balochistan get quality education. He asked the students to focus on their education and lauded their calibre.

He also listened to a number of suggestions put forth by the students in order to create a proper learning environment at the Loralai School. The prime minister announced Rs 15 million for the school and said that he would announce more funds for the students when he will visit Balochistan.

He asked the students to study hard as their parents, despite their limited resources, were spending huge amount of money on their education and grooming. He also asked the school authorities to provide scholarships to the outstanding students.

The prime minister said that the young students were the future of the country and would bring a good name to the nation, adding that the children of Balochistan were equally good as compared to others across the country and assured them that they would be provided with the best possible facilities. Nawaz Sharif directed Senator Sardar Yaqoob Nasir to submit a report to him for and address problems of the school. Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid accompanied the prime minister.

< Daily Times >

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Punjab package for Balochistan

LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that inter-provincial harmony will improve due to visit of students of Cadet College Qila Saifullah Balochistan. 

He expressed these views while talking to a delegation of students of Cadet College Qila Saifullah Baluchistan who called on him under the leadership of Vice Principal Abdul Khaliq. He said that the people of Punjab had sentiments of love and brotherhood for their Baloch brethren. 

Shahbaz Sharif announced laptops for the teachers and students of the college. He also announced water filteration plant for the college, Rs30 lakh for the management of college, Rs40 lakh for construction of swimming pool, Rs30 lakh for setting up junior school and a bus for students of Cadet College Qila Saifullah Baluchistan.

The chief minister said that Punjab government had given Rs11 billion of its share to Balochistan in NFC Award and a total of Rs55b of its share had been given to Balochistan during five years.  He said that special quota for students of Balochistan had been allocated in educational institutions of Punjab.

Addressing the students, Shahbaz Sharif said that no nation could progress or achieve a respectable place without education. He said that education, health and law& order are linked with each other.  The Punjab government has taken revolutionary steps for the improvement of education system and empowering the youth which have yielded very encouraging and positive results, he added. 

The chief minister said that allocation of special quota for the students of Balochistan was one of the important steps taken in education sector in Punjab.  He said every child has right over education and Punjab government is providing this right to them. 

The chief minister said that youth would have to play their active role along with government. He said that our elders sacrificed lakhs of precious lives for the creation of Pakistan. He said that Pakistan was achieved so that there should be supremacy of justice, honesty and equality. 

“Unfortunately, corruption, safarish, nepotism and Bradrism have been promoted in the country. Due to four martial laws, the country is lagging far behind. The country is for all of us and we all will have to play our role for its progress,” the CM held.

He said that Punjab government had given gift of a cardiac center to Balochistan and two billion rupees had been released for its construction. The students and teachers of cadet collage paid tribute to the development vision of Shahbaz Sharif and said that Punjab had played the role of elder brother in the real sense.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Words of change: Clearing the coast for the women of Balochistan

Quetta: Dressed in a colourful embroidered Balochi dress, 19-year-old Mariyam Suleman is a reflection of the deep blue sea that meets the shore of her hometown of Gwadar. Unassuming yet dynamic, the teenage social activist is making waves by creating awareness about the rights of women.

A college student and blogger, Mariyam is teaching women English in rural areas of Gwadar in order to give them an equal shot at opportunities. Doing what she does, that too in Balochistan–where proper education is a dream, takes unmatched resolve. And Mariyam’s determination, like the waters that besieges her land, is unwavering.

Mariyam started her endeavour after completing her undergraduate education from America. She recently conducted a workshop with the help of a non-profit organisation in Gwadar where over 30 college-going girls discussed women’s rights and swapped stories of influential Baloch women who changed society as they know it.

“I have not done a big thing, but I feel happy to do something for our society, specifically for the women in Balochistan who are denied access to education, not only because of cultural barriers, but also due to lack of resources,” Mairyam tells The Express Tribune.

She has also organised workshops focusing on tech camps in colleges, training of trainers, women’s day, cultural heritage and international day for girls’ rights.

“I organised a few workshops for college girls in Gwadar and have also been teaching English language along with maintaining my personal blog,” she says in a nonchalant manner that would have you think she is among many doing the same in her area. In fact, Mariyam is one of the first teenage girls to regularly write blogs about education and women issues in the province.

Elaborating on lack of opportunities, Mariyam says cultural barriers are a major issue. “They (girls) are married at a very young age. Sometimes they are forced to stay home rather than encouraged to compete with men out in the world. This is why, at times, they stop dreaming.”

Avenues for girls to pursue an education in Gwadar are extremely limited, even with the attention the coastal city has attracted in the past one decade. “Girls often bury their dreams because of lack of opportunities and cultural barriers.”

Yet, the women of Balochistan are aware of their rights. Mairyam said girls at several workshops have voiced one concern repeatedly: ‘Men should be taught about women’s rights, not women.’

Mariyam’s blogs can be viewed here.

< Express Tribune >

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

In Pictures: Passing out parade of Balochistan recruits

A passing out parade of Baloch recruits in Pakistan Army was held in Quetta on Tuesday.  The passing out parade ceremony began with recitation of Quran. Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif attended the passing out parade as the Chief Guest. Chief Minister of Balocistan Abdul Malik Baloch was also present on this occasion. The vigilant contingent of Pakistan Army soldiers carried out a march past at the parade ceremony. At the event, as many as 580 Pakistan Army soldiers took an oath. 

Sunday, 21 December 2014

In Pictures: Annual Convocation Day ceremony of Balochistan University

Balochistan Governor, Muhammad Khan Achakzai and Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch award degrees to students during the Annual Convocation Day ceremony of Balochistan University.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Crime rate in Balochistan down by 22 per cent: CM

Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, Balochistan Chief Minister addressing a press conference

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has claimed that crime graph in the province has dropped by 22 per cent during the current year.

He was speaking during a session of the Balochistan Assembly held on Friday with Speaker Mir Jan Mohammad Jamali in the chair.

Concluding the debate on law and order, Malik Baloch urged legislators not to hurl corruption allegations on him, adding that if any member had any proof against him he should present it before the public.

He said security situation in the province could not be improved overnight.

The house witnessed pandemonium when treasury and opposition members traded hot words on the Reko Diq gold-cum-copper project.

During his speech, the chief minister referred to his latest news conference at which he had presented details about the Reko Diq project and categorically announced that he would not compromise on natural resources of Balochistan.

On the law and order issue, he said in 2013 a total of 234 incidents of crime occurred, 357 people were killed. And in 2014, he added, 151 incidents of crime had occurred and 156 people were killed. Kidnapping and targeted killings have decreased by 30pc. He said there was reduction also in the cases of dumping of mutilated bodies.

The chief minister said that law-enforcement agencies had traced the people involved in burning of Ziarat Residency, killing of police officer Aamir Mohammad, bomb blasts on Alamdar Road, Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University and Taftan town.

He said 600 people had been recruited in law-enforcement agencies. Bullet-proof vehicles had been provided to deputy superintendents of police and hundreds of police personnel were being trained by the army, he added.

< Dawn >