Four opposition MPAs injured in clash with police outside Balochistan Assembly


Disgruntled lawmakers stage sit-in outside the assembly, protesting against provincial budget
Balochistan Assembly witnessed chaotic scenes on Friday after opposition lawmakers staged a sit-in outside the assembly and locked all its entrance gates with chains.
The disgruntled lawmakers were protesting to stop the provincial government from presenting the budget.
“We will not let the budget to be passed until our demands are met,” the protesting lawmakers said.
The sit-in has been staged against the “disregard for opposition constituencies and release of funds to unelected persons”.
The lawmakers also clashed with the police after they attempted to disperse them and smashed the main entrance gate of the assembly building with armoured vehicle.
Resultantly, three BNP MPAs — Babu Abdul Raheem, Ahmed Nawaz and Shakila Naveed Dhewar – and one JUI-F MPA, Abdul Wahid Siddique sustained injuries.
Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan and other ministers and MPAs of the ruling coalition entered the assembly hall using the UBL bank gate entrance.
During the stampede, the chief minister was also hit with a flower pot as police resorted to baton-charge and tear gas to disperse the protesting lawmakers.
The opposition members have called for a province-wide strike on Saturday against the ‘anti-people budget’.
Despite the opposition’s protest, the session has now kicked off with provincial Finance Minister Zahoor Buledi currently presenting the budget for fiscal year, 2021-22.
Highways, thoroughfares blocked
Meanwhile, workers of main opposition parties – Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Balochistan National Party and Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party – blocked nearly all highways in a protest against “the neglect of opposition constituencies in the provincial budget”.
The workers of the parties staged sit-ins at all national highways, including highway in Chaman, Quetta-Karachi International Highway, Zhob-DI Khan, Gwadar coastal highway.
The closure of national highways caused severe hardships to the people, especially women and children. The highways remained closed from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm, as was decided in the announcement of the protest a day earlier.
The closure of highways caused serious troubles for opeople as the access to important routes remained shut, leaving people, including women and children, stranded.
Meanwhile, Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani slammed the opposition parties for resorting to stone-throwing and blocking roads during the protest.
He said in a tweet from his official handle that peaceful protest is a democratic right of all political parties but throwing stones at political leaders and blocking ambulance passage “is cruel”.