Exclusive Interview of Member of National Assembly Muhammad Aslam Bhootani with Bolan Tribune
BT: What are your reservations on Javed Jabbar’s appointment as NFC’s non-technical member to represent Balochistan?
Bhootani: Javed Jabbar is not from Balochistan. He may be a good human being, may be educated. That is not the part of debate. If our Chief Minister had to make a documentary on Balochistan, Javed Jabbar would be the best person for it. May be I would also go for the same selection if I had to make a documentary. However, this is the matter of Province’s representation in National Finance Commission (NFC) which will determine the share of province for the next five or ten years. I am of the opinion that a person should have been selected from province which has a population of more than one hundred-thousand people. Does the provincial government want to convey to the world that Balochsitan doesn’t have any person who could represent it on the matter of NFC? I believe there are people who are adept and know Balochistan’s objective circumstances better than Javed Jabbar. I consider it a contempt and injustice to show people that we don’t have anyone to represent us. Had there been someone else instead of Javed Jabbar, my reaction would the same. This is not about Javed Jabbar’s personality but it is about Balochistan. This is my stance and I will challenge this issue in court. Even today Agha Hassan Baloch who is from BNP Mengal has also rejected name of Javed Jabbar on the floor of National Assembly’s. This is contemptuous attitude adopted towards the people of Balochistan. Will we also bring chief ministers from outside in future?
BT: Who do you think is the appropriate person to represent Balochistan in NFC?
Bhootai: There are hundreds of people. A former finance secretary represented Balochistan in 7th NFC and the share of Balochistan increased by 108% then, jumping 5.2 to 9.1. We need a person who could protect the interests of Balochistan. I fear what has already been achieved may not be lost because there are talks about FATA merger, and some ratio may be diverted to that side. But why should there be cuts on Balochsitan’s Share? The good thing about 7th NFC award is that along with increase in our share, a protection clause was added with regard to Balochistan that if due any reason federal taxe collection falls short, cuts may be imposed on other provinces’ share but not on that of Balochsitan and Balochistan will get its 9.1% such as today in Corona crisis, if there are any reductions, Balochistan’s share will remain the same. I am of the view that if there is any person from this province representing us in NFC and if he sales the interests of Balochistan, it would be difficult for him to face Balochistan back home. But a person from outside, who had been given authority by us to put signatures on that paper, he would do that happily and leave but the consequences would be borne by the people of Balochistan. Javed Jabbar doesn’t know as to what are the issues of Turbat, Kohlu, Awaran, Zhob, Loralai, Musakhail, Sibi. He is definitely a good person but not adept in financial matter. He should quit himself if he is a dignified person.
BT: When are you going to Court?
I have talked to Amanullah Kanrani, my advocate, and we will devise a strategy tomorrow as to go before or after Eid.
Interview Conducted by Nasir Shahwani through a telephonic conversation