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Sunday, November 20, 2011

PPP MNA continues to protest govt inaction over Hazara killings

By Qamar Zaman
Published: November 21, 2011

MNA Nasir Ali Shah says party has failed to deliver. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: At a time when the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government is a target of the opposition’s scathing criticism, its member in the National Assembly from Quetta, Syed Nasir Ali Shah, seemed to have joined the opposition chorus saying that the PPP had failed to “deliver”.
“The PPP has distracted from its manifesto and has failed to deliver,” said the PPP leader while talking to The Express Tribune on Sunday with special reference to the Hazara community killings last month outside Quetta.
“I had stated this in party meetings and even in a meeting at the President House,” said Shah while adding: “I had joined the PPP for its manifesto and the vision given by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto.”
“The party should stop promoting personalities and give preference to its manifesto.”
Shah had boycotted the NA and staged a sit-in at the entrance of the Parliament House in October after 14 people of the Hazara community – an ethnic minority that follows Shia Islam – were gunned down outside Quetta in the second such incident within a fortnight. Shah is still not attending the NA session.
The onslaught against the government by Shah, who is an ethnic Hazara himself, was vehemently backed by the opposition. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had staged a token walkout to express solidarity which was joined by some members of the ruling PPP and its coalition partners as well.
The PPP leader from Quetta has not participated any NA session thereafter but the government seems be indifferent to his opposition.
The MNA said that the Balochistan government had lost all credibility and was incompetent to handle the law and order situation in the province. “The only solution to the problem is imposition of the governor’s rule and new elections in Balochistan,” he added.
“I will continue my protest till the day the government accepts my demands of a governor rule and fresh elections,” he said in response to a question regarding future plans of his ongoing protest.
Shah revealed that the government has made several attempts at defusing his sit-in.
“There had been statements on PTV that I have ended the protest on government’s behest,” he claimed, saying he had never made any such announcement.
It is quite unfortunate that the law and order situation in Balochistan has even worsened due to government’s apathetic attitude, he lamented.
Responding to a query whether he approached the leadership prior to or after his ongoing sit-in, Shah said: “It was the last option for me as I already had raised the issue on all forums.”
When asked whether he had any plans of following the footprints of former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi who bid farewell to the PPP recently, Shah said: “I would continue my struggle while staying within the party.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2011.

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