Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday said there would be a reckoning from the state in the form of action against those responsible for spilling blood after a recent spate of attacks in Balochistan.
Ten soldiers were martyred after terrorists attacked a security forces’ checkpost in Balochistan’s Kech district on Wednesday. The incident was followed two days later by twin bomb blasts in the Sui area of Dera Bugti that martyred three Levies Force personnel along with a Bugti clan elder.
Two of the soldiers from the ten martyred belonged to Jhelum.
While addressing a press conference during a visit to Jhelum city, Fawad said “we have retaliated before and will fully take action again and not one drop of blood of our children will be wasted. Bodies of young soldiers were felled here,” adding that there would be a “reckoning” from the state for the spilt blood.
He said a clear message should be sent to those who conspired to break the country that Pakistan was meant to exist till the end of times and anyone who desired otherwise should get rid of the notion.
Extending his condolences to the families of the martyred, the minister said there was a “deep conspiracy” behind the situation in Balochistan, adding that “there is no doubt there is a foreign hand behind this violence.”
“We have defeated enemies before and are fully prepared today as well.”
Information Minister Fawad said there were two forms of violence present, religious and separatist, with both posing threats if their demands weren’t met. He added countries and states could not run like this.
Referring to an editorial of an unnamed newspaper, he criticised what he said were attempts to explain or provide reasons for the violence.
“What highly inappropriate talk is this. If someone’s road isn’t made or gas connection isn’t given then do they go and start shooting people?” he said, adding that religious and separatist violence were not justified.
Speaking on other matters, the information minister said the country was on the right track and had achieved economic stability with sectors such as agriculture and industry standing on their feet.
He also criticised the opposition over its inability to defeat the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill in the Senate on Friday, adding that it was comprised of “dwarves”.
He called on the opposition to make way for senior leadership and said PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz should contest mayoral elections and make their way up the leadership ladder.
“If Bilawal and Maryam come up through a process then it is their right. But if you say that there is no process and will just come up for leadership then it is injustice and the whole nation rejects this.”
The information minister also criticised the opposition’s announced plans of different marches against the government, pointing out that it was the seventh such attempt and they eventually had to resort to relying on Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazal chief Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman’s “madrassah students”.
On Prime Minister Imran Khan’s upcoming visit to China, he said it was a “very important” tour that would bring financial dividends and benefits for Pakistan along with strengthening relations. He added there were plans for two more tours of the premier this year.
The information minister also spoke on the Lahore High Court nullifying the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project by declaring several provisions of the Ravi Urban Development Authority (RUDA) Act 2020 unconstitutional.
He said the project was not a “housing society” but the construction of an entire city and only the government could better tell where and how to build a city.
“The judiciary doesn’t have those kinds of resources and they can’t come in policymaking,” Fawad said, adding that such instances where it had “interfered” had “dealt a huge loss to the country”.
“I hope the judges will learn from the past. If we move forward after learning from our past mistakes then there is room for correction.”
Regarding the urea crisis in the country, he chalked it up to the variance in international and domestic prices and said it was more of a distribution issue instead of shortage.