Govt won’t carry out military operation in Sui, says Rashid
* Government will secure national assets
* Bugti invited for talks
PESHAWAR: The government has no intention to carry out a military operation in Sui, said Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad on Tuesday, adding that the government would take every measure to secure national assets including gas installations.
Speaking at a Sarhad Transport Workers Confederation (STWC) meeting at the Bus Terminal, Mr Rashid said the government wanted to resolve the issue through a dialogue and invited Nawab Akbar Bugti for talks to settle the issue peacefully.
“The government has started an inquiry into the gang rape of a woman doctor in Sui and the perpetrators will be brought to justice,” he said and added that the issue “should not be politicised”.
The minister said, “The federal government has initiated development projects worth Rs 130 billion in Balochistan, which will improve the living standards of the people in the province.” He said building the Gwadar Port and the Costal Highway would bring development and prosperity to the province. He said some influential people in Balochistan blocked development to subjugate poor people.
He said some people within the country were trying to destabilise it, but he said this would not be permitted. He said the country had no threat to its boundaries. “Our boundaries are secure. Our defence, particularly the missile technology, is unmatched in the world,” he said.
He asked the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) leadership to resolve issues such as unemployment and health and stop demanding the president relinquish his uniform. The minister challenged MMA leaders Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Qazi Hussain Ahmad to a public debate on the uniform issue in Peshawar. President Musharraf had rescued Pakistan from peril he said otherwise it would have suffered the same consequences as Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We honour the MMA mandate. They should rule and let us rule”, he said. He assured the transporters that their problems would be addressed. He said he would try to arrange the transporters meeting with the prime minister and the Punjab chief minister. He said he would help North West Frontier Province (NWFP) transporters acquire a bus stand in Lahore.
Earlier, in his welcome address, M Zahir Shah Yousafzai, president of STWC, told the minister of the problems faced by the transporters particularly in Punjab. He said the official fee for the bus stand in Lahore was Rs 210, while the stand owners charged Rs 4,000 to 5,000 from the NWFP-based transporters as extortion.