Balochistan cancels land allotted to PAF


Balochistan cancels land allotted to PAF

* Cabinet for revival of magistracy system
* Expresses reservation on ending of Qazi courts

By Malik Siraj Akbar

QUETTA: The government of Balochistan on Saturday approved the cancellation of 63,000 acres of land allotted to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) for a firing range in the coastal region of Balochistan in Lasbela district.

The land was proposed to be allotted to the PAF for a firing range to test modern weapons.

The decision to cancel the allotment was made at a meeting of the provincial cabinet, with Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani in the chair.

There had been strong reservations about the allotment made by the previous government.

Balochistan Assembly Speaker Aslam Bhootani, in whose electoral constituency the land falls, is on record to have opposed the proposal many times in the media.

The cabinet also took a number of major decisions in its meeting.

Magistracy: In order to improve law and order in the province, the cabinet recommended the federal government to revive the district magistracy system. Balochistan Chief Secretary Nasir Mehmood Khosa informed the meeting that approval from the Centre was necessary for the revival.

Raisani assured the cabinet he would personally approach the prime minister and apprise him of the ground realities and seek his approval to revive the magistracy system in the province.

The cabinet also approved a plan to build a major dam on the Hingol River to irrigate over 100,000 acres of highly fertile land and boost farm production, so that Balochistan could have a surplus of food.

Qazi courts: The cabinet expressed strong reservations on ending Qazi courts in Khuzdar, Gwadar, Panjgur, Naseerabad, Sibi and Turbat districts. The chief minister strongly defended the courts and reversed the previous government’s decision to wind up the Qazi courts and replace them with civil courts.

The cabinet endorsed the decision to audit the accounts of the districts and local councils. The chief secretary apprised the cabinet of the implementation of the cabinet’s previous decisions. He said 11 more ships carrying fertilizer would anchor at the Gwadar Port by January 21. He said more than 700 trucks carrying fertilizer were leaving the port daily for the rest of the country. The cabinet was told that exploration for oil and gas was in progress in Awaran, Qila Saifullah, Musakhel and Washuk.

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