Malik justifies Arsalan Iftikhar’s appointment in Balochistan Assembly


QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch admitted to have appointed Arsalan Iftikhar, the son of former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, to a prominent position in the Balochistan Investment Board. “I did appoint Arsalan Iftikhar to the Balochistan Investment Board,” Dr Baloch said in response to questions raised by opposition benches regarding the widely politicised appointment during a session of the Balochistan Assembly on Saturday.

Opposition benches voiced concern over Arsalan’s appointment. “How can a man involved in several corruption scandals be appointed to the Balochistan Investment Board, Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran, a legislator from opposition party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), lamented on the floor of the house during the session.

Responding to the member’s questions, Dr Malik said: “Arsalan has been associated with Balochistan, if anyone has any apprehensions, he or she can speak to me.”

Opposition benches opposed the appointment of Arsalan and urged the government to avoid what they called political bribe. “What forced the government to appoint such a controversial personality,” Sardar Khetran asked.

Justifying the appointment, the Chief Minister said it was not an easy job to bring investment in Balochistan which is plagued by attacks launched by Baloch separatists and other sectarian outfits for more than a decade.

Arsalan Ifikhar is the son of former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary who remained advocate general, justice and chief justice of the Balochistan High Court prior to his elevation to the apex court of Pakistan.