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Business Recorder

Published Date: Jul 9, 2013

‘Six points’ only way forward for peace in Balochistan: Mengal

Speaking at the launch of a book on Balochistan, Sardar Akhtar Mengal
has said that only way forward for peace in Balochistan is the
acceptance of six-point demands of Baloch people. Only then Baloch
people can trust federation and come to negotiating table, he added.

He was speaking at the launch of a book organised by Sustainable
Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday. The book titled as
"Balochistan: Azadi Sai Subai Bai-Ikhtiari Tak" was written by eminent
writer and senior advisor SDPI, Ahmad Salim who has been conferred with
Presidential Pride of Performance by Government of Pakistan and
Bangladesh Freedom Award for his excellent contributions in the field of
literature and human rights.

Speaking on the occasion, Mengal, Chief of Balochistan National
Party (BNP-M) appreciated the book which according to him has truly
documented the history of Balochistan. He was of the view that
Balochistan was repeatedly invaded not only by military dictators but
civilian democratic governments as well. He was of the view that instead
of addressing root cause of Balochistan problem, government is
suggesting fancy projects for Balochistan to pacify people. He explained
that operation was still in progress in parts of Balochistan and
according to human rights report, in last 25 days of current government,
65 persons had gone missing while 13 mutilated bodies were recovered.

He presented the six points demand of Baloch people, which
according to him are under the constitution and essential to bring peace
in Balochistan. He demanded that all military operations against the
Baloch should immediately be suspended. He asked to produce all missing
persons before a court of law. He condemned the killing of Baloch people
and demanded to prosecute the persons responsible for inhuman torture,
killing and dumping of dead bodies of Baloch political leaders and
activists. Sardar Akhtar Mengal also demanded to disband proxy death
squads operating under the supervision of establishment in the province.
He also called for giving complete freedom to political parties and
rehabilitate thousands of displaced Baloch living in appalling
condition.

Speaking on the occasion, Ahmad Salim narrated brief history of
federating units in Pakistan and said that unfortunately federation in
Pakistan has a week grounding when some federating units at the time of
independence had forced annexation including Qalat. Also the
democratically-elected provincial government in a smaller federating
unit NWFP was toppled only after 7 days of independence on 22 August
1947. He said that dominance of Punjab over affairs of the country was
established since then and continued till now which has weakened the
federation in Pakistan. He was of the view that there was no doubt that
resources of smaller provinces were misappropriated and time has come
that Punjab play its positive role in addressing the concerns of Baloch
brother and bring peace in the province.

Jan Achakzai, Spokesperson, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazlur Rehman
(JUI-F) said that Balochistan has been treated unfairly by the federal
government and now the only way forward is through political realisation
of actual problem especially at center. I.A. Rehman, Secretary General,
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said that ironically,
Balochistan and KPK have to face injustice and federation showed a very
irresponsible and insensitive behaviour. He said that now a political
solution is required and the new government must be very careful in
selecting ministers who have the trust of Baloch people.

Senior Political and Defence Analyst, Lieutenant General Talat
Masood (Retd), said that unfortunately till now, military was used by
federation to counter insurgency, sectarian differences, political,
social and economic problems in Balochistan instead of a political
discourse. He said that geostrategic location and natural resources of
Balochistan are a blessing and the only way to utilise these resources
would be through bringing peace in Balochistan.

Earlier, in his welcome remarks, Dr Abid Suleri, Executive
Director, SDPI said that Pakistani federation had failed to treat all
units with equity which has aggravated situation especially in
Balochistan. He, however, showed satisfaction over the fact that BNP
Mengal despite having serious reservation over 11 May elections is
taking part in political process. He added that Balochistan has the
worst situation in human development and added that sustainable peace
not possible unless traditional paradigm of state security is reversed
in favour of individual security particularly in Balochistan.