Saturday, July 16, 2005

Professor wounded in Quetta shooting

Professor wounded in Quetta shooting

QUETTA: Two unidentified motorcyclists opened fire at Professor Dr Nadir Khan, a professor of medicine at Bolan Medical Complex, and injured him when he was on his way to a hospital on Friday morning.

He was rushed to Karachi after initial treatment at Quetta Civil Hospital. Police said that the professor had no personal enmity with anyone and sectarian violence could not be ruled out.

Police said Dr Nadir belonged to a Shia sect and had a clinic in a private hospital. staff report

Balochistan’s inclusion in pipeline talks urged

By Our Correspondent

QUETTA, July 15: Leader of the Opposition in Balochistan Assembly Kachkol Ali Baloch has called upon India to ensure that the province was represented in the tripartite dialogue between Pakistan, Iran and India on a gas pipeline project. Representation at such a forum would allow Balochistan to stake its claim to gas royalty, according to Mr Kachkol.

“If Pakistan can ask India to include Kashmiri leaders in the negotiations on the Kashmir issue, then why cannot the Baloch have representation in the tripartite meeting on the gas pipeline?” the opposition leader asked during a press conference in the assembly secretariat on Thursday.

Mr Kachkol insisted that the Baloch people must be allowed to participate in any agreement on passing the gas pipeline through Balochistan from Iran to India.

Mr Kachkol warned the tripartite states that the Baloch people would not permit them to make the pipeline project viable if the Baloch leadership was not taken into confidence. “The tripartite states should invite the present provincial government to represent Balochistan,” he said.

He said that the Afghans had taken a courageous stand on the gas/oil pipeline issue with international companies and maintained that the Baloch people should also express unity like the Afghans to protect their motherland.

Pointing out that Pakistan was a “multi-national state comprising four nationalities that have different cultures, languages and history,” Mr Kachkol said that in a true federation, all federating units had control over their resources.

The opposition leader said that the federal government had always committed excesses against the Baloch people and alleged that it had looted the resources of the province through use of military force. According to him, the Baloch people had been deprived of political and constitutional rights.

Closure of coalmines deplored

By Our Correspondent

QUETTA, July 15: Pakistan Mines Security Services Chairman Azam Khan Yousufzai has claimed that the closure of Chamalang coalmine in Loralai causes Rs2.5 billion revenue loss to the government annually and demanded deployment of Frontier Corps to reopen the mine. He told a press conference on Friday that withdrawal of security forces from Chamalang, Marwar, Mirgat and Aabegum coalmines had encouraged occupiers of the mines on the one hand and caused ethnic tension in Balochistan on the other.

He said that owners of the mines would continue to face financial hardships if the government did not establish its writ by providing security to help them continue the work.

He claimed that those who were behind rocket firing and bomb blasts in the province had demanded huge amounts from the mine owners and on their refusal had occupied the coal mines.

Mr Yousufzai said that either the government should play its due role by protecting the miners or allow the Kakar tribesmen to arrange a security system at the mines.

He said that they had reached an agreement with the Bijrani, Lohari and another branch of the Mari tribe of Kohlu, according to which the mine owners would pay them Rs20 million every month to ensure safe passage of coal trucks from the Mari area.

He said that according to an estimate, daily supply of coal from Chamalang mines to industries in Punjab used to be 8,000 tons.

He regretted that the matter had been brought to the notice of the governor, chief minister and corps commander but no step had been taken to solve the problem.

KARACHI: SHC allows Akhtar Mengal’s petition

KARACHI, July 15: The Sindh High Court on Friday, allowing a petition filed by Balochistan National Party leader, Mohammad Akhtar Mengal, against ban on his travel abroad, ordered the interior ministry to delete his name from the ECL. The petitioner, an ex-chief minister of Balochistan, said he was denied a visit abroad as his name was placed on the ECL by FIA.

The BNP leader, who is also critical to government’s polices, said there was no ground to restrain him from travelling abroad and deprive him of a journey relating to business and health.

His counsel Raja Qureshi and Syed Ghulam Shah sought deletion of his name from the ECL.

Federal law officer Tariq Ali told the court that the interior ministry had placed the name of the petitioner in the ECL on the recommendations of the NAB and produced a copy of the letter.

The court expressed annoyance that there were no any reference or case mentioned in the letter on which the petitioner be restrained from travelling abroad besides no comments have been filed by the respondents.

SHC’s division bench, comprising Chief Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed and Justice Zia Pervaiz, observed that no citizen could be restrained from moving freely without any specific reason and allowed the petition. It also ordered the respondents to remove the name of the petitioner from the ECL and issue him a passport.


Iran likely to supply power, gas to Gwadar

By Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, July 15: Pakistan has approached Iran to supply electricity and gas to the Gwadar seaport city, it is learnt. Official sources told Dawn here on Friday that the government had decided to urgently overcome electricity and gas shortage in Gwadar, was discussing the issue with the government of Iran.

Iran has tentatively agreed to meet the energy requirements of Balochistan province. However, the sources said, the Iranian government was being asked to help meet necessary electricity and gas requirements of District Gwadar, which included Gwadar, Pasni, Ormara and Jiwani.

The Gwadar port authorities, the sources said, had asked the federal government to manage gas and electricity requirements especially for the proposed hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and other development projects in the area.

The sources said while the construction of coastal highway had boosted the life of the people of Gwadar, infrastructure facilities to the investors were vital for the development of the new port city in Balochistan.

Since the development of next phase of Gwadar port has been offered to the private sector/ international investors on Build Operate and Ownership (BOO) and Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis, the sources said, energy requirements of the area needed to be appropriately met.

The government was also requested by the port authorities to help improve the standard of living of the people of the area by providing basic necessities.

The health facility lacks equipment to deal with serious cases of illness to the Gwadar population which is around 80,000, majority of whom are fishermen.

The literacy rate in the area is extremely low being less than 20 per cent for male and less than 7 per cent for female. One of the long term programmes for Balochistan development is the development of Gwadar port with the technical and financial assistance of Chinese government.

Under the programme, the sources said, many industries have been envisaged to be established in the province in general and around Gwadar in particular for which skilled manpower would be needed for the operation of the port and the allied industries.

In this behalf, the sources said, that the ministry of education had decided to establish Gwadar Institute of Technology in line with the government policy to effectively develop Gwadar port under the 9th five-year plan.

The government would provide Rs200 million to set up the new institute that aimed at strengthening entrepreneurship by establishing strong linkages between the institute and the industries of Gwadar port.

Gwadar Institute of Technology would be established under the supervision of Director General, Gwadar Development Authority who would be responsible for day to day activities.

Centre grants Rs 170m for NCHD project in Balochistan

By our correspondent

QUETTA: The federal government has provided an additional grant of Rs 170 million for implementing projects of the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) in Balochistan during last two years.

An amount of Rs 275 million has been earmarked for the current financial year and Rs 400 million would be spent on the NCHD projects during the next fiscal, said NCHD Chairman Dr Naseem Ashraf.

During a briefing to Balochistan Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani and Chief Minister Jam Muhammad Yousuf here on Friday, Dr Ashraf said the funds would be utilised for the development of education, health and adult literacy sectors.

The NCHD was established on the special directives of President Pervez Musharraf in 2002 and had been working in nine districts of Balochistan. Dr Ashraf said the remaining districts of the province would be covered in the NCHD programme by 2007.

"It is a big achievement of the programme to include the community in the implementation of the projects. Over 6,000 volunteers have so far been prepared, who are helping the commission," he said.

The governor and the chief minister appreciated the NCHD projects and assured Dr Ashraf of the provincial government’s full cooperation.

They stressed the need for building close liaison between the commission and the provincial government so as to move ahead with the programme.

Provincial Minister for Education Maulana Abdul Wahid Siddiqui, Local Bodies Minister Maulana Hussain Ahmed Sharodi, Chief Secretary KB Rind and other officials also attended the meeting.

Hunting, carrying weapons banned in Pishin

QUETTA: The district coordination officer (DCO) Pishin has imposed a ban under Section 144 CrPC on carrying all sorts of weapons for a period of one month. A notification issued here on Friday said the ban shall remain enforced with immediate effect for one month throughout the district but it would not apply on personnel of law-enforcement agencies. According to another notification, the DCO Pishin has imposed a ban under Section 144 CrPC on hunting all sorts of birds for a period of one month in the entire district.


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