Lasbela land sale to foreigners criticised
QUETTA: Balochistan Assembly Speaker Aslam Bhootani has accused the Prime Minister House of putting pressure on the provincial government to sell thousands of hectares of land in the coastal district of Lasbela to some Arab princes.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday, he said Balochistan was not a saleable commodity and its people would not allow anyone to sell their land.
“On the directives of PM House the provincial revenue department has prepared a summary for selling about 70,000 hectares of land to Arab princes for hunting,” Mr Bhootani said.
He said the plan had been prepared without considering the apprehensions of the local people and, therefore, following public reaction Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani has stopped the summary.
“The revenue department ignored even my reservations and apprehensions while sending the summary to the chief minister,” he said.
Mr Bhootani said the land belonged to the people of Lasbela and no foreign national would be allowed to purchase it.
He said that the Balochistan government had earlier refused to give the same land to a federal security institution because local people’s opposition.
“When we refused to sell this land to our own federal security institution how can we sell it to foreigners for hunting,” he said, adding that local people had been living on the land for centuries and no one would be allowed to displace them.
Mr Bhootani expressed the hope that the provincial government would foil any attempt to deprive the local people of their land.
He said the chief minister had already expressed his anger over giving Gwadar Port to Singapore Port Authority and Reko Diq gold and copper project to foreign companies.
He said that it was true the Arab princes would be paying the price of the land one could ask that if someone wanted to “purchase the whole of Balochistan what would be our reaction?”
Mr Bhootani called upon Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to withdraw the decision about allotment of coastal land in the district.