Pakistan imposes governor rule in Balochistan

Islamabad, Jan. 14 (Xinhua-ANI): Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has announced the governor rule in southwest province of Balochistan early Monday in the wake of deadly twin bomb attacks in the provincial capital of Quetta.

After an overnight emergency meeting with the representatives of the victims of the twin blasts which claimed 86 lives, Ashraf promised the imposition of the governor rule in Balochistan to the angry protesters gathering at the blast site.

The imposition of the governor rule means that the Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi will take over the power from the Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani and the provincial government headed by Raisani will be dismissed.

In Pakistan, the chief minister of a province is the de facto top leader of the province while the provincial governor is largely an honorary title without actual executive power.

Under the article 234 of Pakistan's constitution, the governor rule can only be implemented under a state of emergency with a maximum period of two months.

The decision to impose the governor rule in Balochistan is to quench the anger over the killing of the minority Shia Muslims and avoid the escalation of the crisis.

On Thursday night, twin bomb attacks killed 86 people and wounded more than 120 others, mostly Shia Muslims. The brutal killing of the innocent people has caused a massive protest across the country. Family members of the blast victims launched a sit-in following the attack and refused to bury the dead bodies though three days have passed.

On Saturday, the federal government sent ministers to Quetta, persuading the protesters to end the strike and bury the dead bodies and the request was turned down by the protesters who demanded deployment of the army in the province.

On Sunday, Ashraf rushed to Quetta to negotiate with the members of the Solidarity Council.

Meanwhile, the prime minister also announced that the paramilitary Frontier Corps will exercise policing power to maintain the law and order in the province.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari signed the imposition of the governor rule into force. (Xinhua-ANI)

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