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Says supporting PTI at centre doesn’t mean every move of the govt is acceptable. — Dawn/File

No compromise on Balochistan share in NFC award: Bhootani

QUETTA: Former speaker of the Balochistan Assembly and member of the National Assembly from Gwadar-Lasbela Mohammad Aslam Bhootani has vowed to resist any attempt to slash the three per cent share of Balochistan in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award with full force.

“We will not compromise on the share of Balochistan in NFC, as the province needs more funds for development,” he said, adding that any cut was not acceptable to all the 20 MNAs from the province.

While talking to journalists on Sunday, Mr Bhootani said instead of increasing the province’s share in the NFC award, the federal government wanted to cut its existing share.

He said he had already cleared his position on the issue during his budget speech in the National Assembly and explained that all the 20 members representing the province had consensus over its share.

He said: “Supporting the PTI government at the Centre does not mean that we support every move of the government even if they are against the interest of Balochistan and its people.”

Says supporting PTI at centre doesn’t mean every move of the govt is acceptable

He said he and other MNAs from Balochistan had reservations on the policy of the federal government and they had expressed their reservations at different forums including in their budget speeches.

Mr Bhootani, who was elected from the constituency of the National Assembly Gwadar-Lasbela as independent candidate, said the government was not consulting and taking him and another lawmaker from Gwadar Hamal Kalmati into confidence on the affairs of Gwadar, which was future economic hub of Pakistan. There were reports that a committee had been working on preparation of a new master plan of the Gwadar without consulting the elected representatives of the area, which was an injustice to the province, he added.

Mr Bhootani said that any such master plan would not be allowed to be implemented in Gwadar. “We will resist implementation of such Gwadar Master Plan,” he said, adding that the PTI government should fulfil its promises and commitment it had made with its allies which were still extending their support to the federal government.

He said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had no importance without Gwadar and various countries pledging investment in Gwadar had their own interest.

Mr Bhootani said steps should be taken for making the Pasni Fish Huber functional and its rehabilitation should be made part of CPEC.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2019

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