Balochistan govt. sacked after storm of protest
KABUL (PAN): The Balochistan government was dismissed after a storm of protest over the massacre of minority Hazara tribe members in last week’s bomb and gun attacks, Pakistani media reported on Monday.
Bowing to countrywide protests from the Hazara community, mainstream political parties and civil society groups, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf announced the sacking of the provincial government.
After holding a flurry of meetings with coalition partners and other political forces, he announced imposition of governor’s rule and withdrawal of trumped-up cases against Hazara community leaders.
Private TV channel DawnNews quoted Ashraf as saying: “After consultations with stakeholders, we have decided to invoke Article 234 of the Constitution. Governor’s rule is being imposed and the provincial government dismissed.”
Speaking in front of leaders of the Hazara tribe in Quetta late on Sunday night, the prime minister said governor's rule, effective from Monday, would stay in place for two months.
He directed Governor Zulfiqar Ali Magsi to take effective steps to detain the perpetrators last week’s bombings in Quetta, where more than 100 people were killed and close to 180 others wounded.
According to Geo News, President Asif Ali Zardari has signed the summary regarding the new constitutional arrangement in Balochistan, making Governor Magsi chief executive of the province.
Thousands of Hazara Shias have been staging a sit-in in freezing cold for the last three days in Quetta, with parallel protests organized in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Gilgat and Islamabad, as well as other major cities.
On Sunday, Ashraf flew to Quetta and held a series of meetings with stakeholders at the Governor’s House. Government allies, including Asfandyar Wali Khan, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Altaf Hussain supported the move.
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