No election deal over Arsalan Iftikhar’s appointment in Balochistan: CM

Dr Baloch says he personally appointed ex-CJ’s son

ISLAMABAD – Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch on Saturday said that Arsalan Iftikhar's resignation as vice president of the Balochistan Board of Investment was a part democratic culture.

Flanked by National Party President Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, the chief minister strongly rejected the opposition's allegations and impression that Arsalan Iftikhar's appointment as vice president of the Board of Investment was made as part of any election deal or linking it with a Reko Diq project.

Since Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry belonged to Balochistan and he knew him since 1988, he wanted to preserve Ifikhar Chaudhry's relation with Balochistan by appointing his son, he said. He said neither the federal government nor any party had approached him to appoint Arsalan Iftikhar as vice president of the board.

Replying to a question, he strongly rejected that his notification with regard to the appointment of Arsalan Iftikhar was mentioning that he was a business tycoon and added his statement in the parliament in this regard was based on honesty. He said that negative and hostile forces were out to derail democratic process by issuing such malicious campaign.

He also said there was need to make collective efforts to defeat these forces for strengthening democracy in Pakistan. To a question, he said efforts were being made to reconcile with estranged leaders in order to collectively work for the prosperity of the province wherein peace had prevailed in almost in all areas.

He said law and order situation had improved, hefty budgetary allocations had been made for education, which would go a long way in ushering prosperity and development. He said that protection was being provided to pilgrims, adding that it was difficult to fully protect the entire 700km long route.

Speaking on the occasion, Hasil Bizenjo said that in last incident, Pakhtunkhwa pilgrims were attacked and these people had not informed Balochistan government in advance about their visit. To a question, he said he had personal relations with former prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and they would not sever these relations, but his party had no political relations with them.

He said his party stood with PML-N and they did not support Chaudhry's relation with non-democratic party of Awami Tehreek. He said political parties in the parliament had endorsed the Pakistan Protection Bill, which was a need of the country.

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