Monday, January 24, 2005

Ponam supports strike call: Balochistan situation

Ponam supports strike call: Balochistan situation



By Bureau Report


HYDERABAD, Jan 23: The provincial unity council of the Pakistan Oppressed Nations Movement at its recent meeting here criticized the army operation in Balochistan and the criminal assault on a lady doctor.

It endorsed a call of the Sindh National Front, Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Jeay Sindh Mahaz and the Sindh National Council to observe a complete strike throughout Sindh on Jan 24 against the army operation and the assault on the doctor. The nationalist parties had taken the decision at a meeting at SNF chief Mumtaz Ali Bhutto's Karachi residence.

The Ponam meeting appealed to people of Sindh, especially the business community and political parties, to observe the strike on Monday to express solidarity with people of Balochistan.

Speaking on the occasion, STPP chairman Dr Qadir Magsi, who is also president of the Sindh chapter of the Ponam, said the rulers would be responsible for consequences of the operation in Balochistan.

He said the smaller nations had joined Pakistan because equal rights had been guaranteed to all of them. He said the rulers could not keep the federating units together at gunpoint and warned that the operation could lead to dismemberment of the country.

Dr Magsi said Sindhis and Balochs were an integral part of each other and the people of Sindh would not tolerate any army operation against Baloch people. He said following the assault on the lady doctor, nationalist forces of Sindh had demonstrated a strong reaction but their protests had gone unnoticed because they had no representation in assemblies.

The meeting demanded that culprits involved in the incident should be arrested and given exemplary punishment. In another resolution, it demanded that the house-to-house search in Sui, Dera Bugti and other areas should be stopped forthwith and a peaceful atmosphere be restored there.

The meeting also decided to hold protest meetings in Daharki and Jacobabad on Jan 30 and 31 respectively against the Kalabagh dam and greater Thal canal projects, inordinate delay in announcement of the National Finance Commission award, rampant lawlessness, unemployment, acute shortage of water in Sindh, usurpation of its natural resources and the Balochistan operation.

Opposing the proposed bifurcation of the Hyderabad district on ethnic lines, it observed that creation of new districts by the Sindh government at the insistence of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and landlords would not benefit the masses. It noted that a division of Hyderabad would render a serious blow to the culture, literature, economics and political process in Sindh.

Those who attended the meeting included Sindh Thinkers Forum's Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah, Sindh Hari Committee leaders Azhar Khan and Akbar Jatoi, SNF leaders Gul Mohammad Jakhrani and Ayub Shar, JSM chairman Syed Zain Shah and Mansoor Khaskheli, STPP leaders Haider Shahani and Nandlal Malhi and Jeay Sindh Qaum Parast Party leaders Dodo Deshi and Syed Munir Shah.

Meanwhile, activists of the Sindh National Party, led by Wahid Sangrasi, Ashraf Noonari, Ghulam Shabbir Inqalabi, took out a motorcycle procession in three talukas of the Hyderabad city on Sunday to appeal to people to observe a strike on Monday.

The procession started from the Hyderabad Press Club and marched through main roads and important business centres of the city. The participants carried banners and placards and raised slogans against the army operation in Balochistan and the assault on the lady doctor.

They appealed to people to observe a strike on Monday to express solidarity with the Baloch people. The Shaheed Fazil Rahu Yadgar Committee also endorsed the strike call of the nationalist parties.

Committee secretary Dr Khalil Qazi asked followers of Shaheed Fazil Rahu to support the strike against the Balochistan operation and the assault on the lady doctor.

OUR JACOBABAD CORRESPONDENT ADDS: President of the Awami Tehrik Rasool Bux Palijo has said that conspiracies are being hatched by the vested interests to plunder remaining resources of smaller provinces.

Talking to newsmen at the press club here, he said that a military operation in Balochistan was a well-planned move to subdue the province and warned that it would threaten the integrity of the country.

Balochistan situation to affect Sindh: JSQM



By Our Correspondent


SUKKUR, Jan 23: Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz leader Bashir Qureshi has said that the Balochistan issue will eventually have its impact on Sindh as its resources to have been taken by the others.

He was talking to newsmen in Mirpur Buriro on Sunday where he had come to sympathize with the bereaved family of Noor Ahmed Memon who had been killed by armed men while offering resistance to them.

He said the people of Sindh would observe a strike on Monday and activists of the JSQM would stage protest demonstrations across Sindh on Jan 25 to express solidarity with the Baloch.

The JSQM leader said that the oppressed nations were aware of their rights. He said there were no 1965 or 1971-like conditions and the army could face backlash from the Baloch.

He demanded that the government should stop any operation in Balochistan and arrest the culprits involved in the lady doctor incident. He said the law and order situation in Sindh was deteriorating and people were not safe in their homes.

He demanded that the killers of Noor Ahmed Memon be arrested. Meanwhile, the Ameer of the Jamiat Ahl-i-Sunnah and Pir of Bharchoondi, Sharif Mian Abdul Khaliq, has appealed to traders of Daharki, Ubauro, Mirpur Mathelo and Ghotki to observe a strike on Monday to express solidarity with the Baloch people.

He was speaking at a press conference in Daharki on Sunday. He said the operation was continuing in Sui and other parts of the province in which innocent people were being arrested. He appealed to the government to resolve the issue through a dialogue and give Balochs their rights.

PPI REPORTS: The Sukkur-Quetta highway was blocked at two different places by two separate groups of protesters here on Sunday. A group of people belonging to a scheduled caste blocked the highway near the Sabzi Mandi to protest against an alleged bid to rape some girls of their community by four men belonging to the Mehar tribe.

Speaking on the occasion, they said the accused had broken into their huts and tried to molest girls. Police arrived at the site and persuaded the protestors to end the blockade.

In the second incident, hundreds of people belonging to the Shar tribe, blocked the highway near Khuda-ki-Basti for one hour. They alleged that 50 armed men of the Jatoi tribe had set their huts on fire. -PPI



Confrontation can't solve Balochistan issue: CM



By Our Correspondent


QUETTA, Jan 23: Chief Minister Jam Mohammad Yusuf has said that the Balochistan issue cannot be resolved through confrontation.

According to a Press release issued here on Sunday, the chief minister told delegations of the Pakistan Muslim League from Turbat, Lasbela, Gwadar, Ormara and Awaran in Karachi that the correct approach to the issues, a spirit of reconciliation and a policy of accommodation with the federal government would get the province out of political problems and financial constraints.

He said that in the past confrontation had harmed the province's interest. Therefore, his government would not allow a recurrence of such a situation, he added. The chief minister said political parties should abandon the politics of criticism and play a constructive role to resolve the problems of the people.

He said that political groups which had apprehensions should give a positive response to the offer of PML chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, who was making concerted efforts to resolve the Balochistan issue politically.

The chief minister said a parliamentary sub-committee would soon present its comprehensive report on the issue and the parties should wait with till the submission of the recommendations.

He reiterated that no military operation was under way in the province and claimed that security steps taken in Sui had been welcomed by local people but some political groups were carrying out a negative propaganda campaign about the situation.

Jam Yusuf claimed that his government had taken a clear stand on the province's rights and the committee comprising three Balochistan cabinet members had held an encouraging meeting with the prime minister on the gas development surcharge, royalty and National Finance Commission award.

Govt urged to hold talks with Baloch leaders



By Our Correspondent


KHAIRPUR, Jan 23: The president of the Sindh chapter of the People's Party Parliamentarians, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, has said that the Balochistan crisis should be settled through talks and any army operation will harm national integrity.

Talking to a group of newsmen here on Saturday, he said the people of Balochistan had been deprived of their rights and it was the government's responsibility to remove their sense of deprivation by holding talks with Baloch leaders.

He said the talks by the government's committee with the Baloch leadership had failed as it had not been able to reach at any political decision. Mr Shah suggested that the government should hold separate talks with Akbar Bugti and other Baloch leaders.

Talking about a criminal assault on a lady doctor in Sui, he said the government should be clear on the issue and mere conducting of meaningless inquiries would not satisfy the people.

He said the PPP policy was that local bodies' election should be held on the political basis and if they were conducted on the non-political basis the party would actively participate in it.

He said he was confident that the PPP would be successful in these elections if they were free, fair and impartial. Mr Shah said the Sindh government had failed to provide relief to public and added that the government's failure to recover kidnapped judges had increased sense of insecurity among people.

He said the government's so-called merit policy was a big lie as deserving candidates remain deprived of opportunities. He said democracy had not been restored in the country and claim for its restoration was just propaganda.

Talking about the call for strike on Jan 24 by the Sindhi nationalists, he said it was a good move but the PPP being a national party had a different political policy.

MINISTER: Sindh Minister for Construction and Communication Sadaruddin Shah Rashdi has said that people will support the Pakistan Muslim League (F) in coming elections because the party has solved their problems.

He was speaking to delegations of different people in Pir-jo-Goth on Sunday. He said in local and general elections people should vote for the best candidates. He said the people could not be hoodwinked by false promises.

He said the parents should try to provide better education to their children because merit would be given due consideration in employment. He said all nazims must be held accountable. MNA Javed Shah Jilani, Ex-MPA Zafar Iqbal Bilal and Majeed Arain were also present on the occasion.

KILLED: A man, Nadeem Bhand, 25, was killed in Allah Dino village near Gambat town. The motive behind the murder is said to be a matrimonial dispute. His brother, Ajab Ali, registered a case against Shaukat Ali, Dhagano, Mir, Wazeer, Adam and Laskhar Bhand.

In another incident, a man was found dead in Otaq - the village guest house. Baksh Ali Mashori had gone missing from Ranoot Mashori village some days back. Wounds of axe were found on the body.

INJURED: Two people were injured in clash over water rotation near Thehri on Saturday night. A dispute took place between Ghulam Hussain Phulpoto and Wazeer Ali Phulpoto over turn of water at a government tube-well near Waris village on Saturday.



Bugti refutes claims of weapons surrender



By Our Correspondent


QUETTA, Jan 23: Chief of Jamhoori Watan Party Nawab Akbar Bugti has called upon the government to recognize the ground realities and settle the Balochistan issue politically.

He said that a propaganda campaign against him in the official media would not serve the purpose of making the people of Balochistan give up their struggle against "usurpation of the province's resources".

Talking to newsmen in Dera Bugti on Sunday, the veteran Baloch politician refuted official claims that tribesmen in Sui had voluntarily surrendered their weapons to the authorities, saying they had refused to hand over arms during previous martial laws because that was against the Baloch norms.

Nawab Bugti said that his party had presented a 15-point formula and Sardar Ataullah Mengal, chief of Ponam, had included those points in his suggestions to resolve the Balochistan question.

"The proposals are clear enough and there is no ambiguity in them," he said. He criticized the government for spreading 'baseless reports' that "we wanted to enhance the percentage of gas royalty or get 20,000 youths recruited in the security forces". He said his party's objective was to get ownership rights for Balochistan's resources.

The JWP leader alleged that the government had drawn up a programme for 'phased dislodging' of natives from the lands of their forefathers and terminating their services in the Sui gas plant in order to induct outsiders in their place.

He warned the government against employing brute force to demolish local people's homes or capture gas fields. Nawab Bugti said he was officially told two days before Eidul Azha that a brigade of regular army would enter Sui for action. The government, he said, had decided to launch a military operation, but "that operation has been delayed for some time".



Two doctors interrogated in Sui case



By Correspondent


QUETTA, Jan 23: Balochistan Home Minister Mir Shoaib Nausherwani said on Sunday that a police party had interrogated two doctors of the Sui hospital run by the Pakistan Petroleum Limited regarding the recent assault case.

Talking to Dawn, the minister said the situation in Dera Bugti was normal. He said that some misunderstanding had arisen between police officials and the Frontier Corps and the Defence Service Guards over the interrogation.

He said the police party had been sent to interrogate Dr Usman and Dr Mohammad Ali of the Sui hospital. The minister said the Sui tehsil was under the jurisdiction of federal security forces and the confusion arose because officials of the Frontier Corps and the DSG wanted to know if the police officials had been authorized by the government to interrogate the doctors.

He denied reports that federal forces had taken over control of the Sui police station. He claimed that unwillingness of the victim's family to lodge a case against those involved in the incident had created complications, but the government had constituted a judicial tribunal to probe into the matter.



http://www.dawn.com/2005/01/24/nat6.htm



Gas crisis still not over for industry



By Our Staff Reporter


LAHORE, Jan 23: The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited may cut supply to power and fertilizer sectors again in the next two days if the cold wave persists and the Pakistan Petroleum Limited fails to restore full supply from the Sui Purification Plant.

According to SNGPL sources, the company started getting partial gas supply from the Sui field during the Eid holidays. The PPL, which owns the Sui field, ensured supply of 100 million cubic feet before Eid holidays according to its commitment.

It further supplied 100mcf on the Eid day and another 50mcf the next day (Saturday). Of the total loss of 480mcf, the PPL restored 250mcf, reducing the deficit to 230mcf, they said.

The PPL was still in the process of restoring different wells and connecting pipelines and it may take a few more days. Furthermore, the cold wave has substantially increased domestic demand of gas.

Sources said the company was hoping to get some relief during the Eid holidays because of reduction in industrial load and it started supply to power and fertilizer sectors, but the change in weather increased the domestic supply by almost the same margin.

"If the cold wave continues for another few days, the company may have to resort to load management." According to a contingency plan, the SNGPL would snap supplies to big units of fertilizer and power sectors.

These few units consumed over 300mcf and only by snapping the quantity can the company meet the increased (domestic) demand without disturbing small industry, sources said.

Besides, it was also hoping to get additional supply of 35mcf from the Ghurgari Gas field near Kohat in the next few days. The field might be able to further easy supplies if it started functioning in time. But if it did not come online and the cold wave persisted, the company might be compelled to curtail supplies to the Northern part of the Punjab and the NWFP, they said.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/01/24/nat16.htm

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