Accepting Baloch Rights The Only Way To Peace: Mengal, By Ikram Junaidi

Mengal: operations were still in progress in Balochistan and in the past 25 days, 65 people had gone missing.

ISLAMABAD, July 8: From January to May 2013, nearly 84 people disappeared and 79 disfigured dead bodies were recovered from different parts of Balochistan.

The only way to establish the trust of the Baloch people on the federation and ensure peace is the acceptance of their rights.

This was stated by former chief minister of Balochistan and the president of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) Sardar Akhtar Mengal during a seminar titled ‘Peace in Balochistan and the role of federation’, which was organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) at a local hotel on Monday.

Furthermore, a book ‘Balochistan, Azadi Say Subai Bay Ikhtiari Tak’, authored by SDPI’s senior advisor Ahmed Salim, was also launched during the seminar.

Ahmad Salim has been conferred upon with a Presidential Pride of Performance by the government of Pakistan and a Bangladesh Freedom Award for his contributions in literature and human rights.

Sardar Mengal said the security establishment had never allowed political governments to take decisions regarding Kashmir, Afghanistan, Foreign Policy and Balochistan.

“Residents of Balochistan were secular at the time of independence and till the 80s I did not even know that the Hazaras were Shias. But today, Hazaras are being killed by some elements who are not Baloch.

This needs to be investigated so that it is determined who wants to shift the Hazaras from the place and why,” he said.

Mr Mengal said despite five military operations in Balochistan, the popularity of nationalist parties could not be affected.

Therefore, during the recent elections, some elements had tried to manipulate the results which in his case were not announced for 18 days.

He said that the Baloch people did not want the resources of the province but only the right to live on their own land.

However, instead of addressing the root cause of the Balochistan problem, the government was suggesting fancy projects to pacify the people.

Sardar Mengal said operations were still in progress in Balochistan and in the past 25 days, 65 people had gone missing.

“Unfortunately, in Pakistan those who raise voice for their rights are declared miscreants and those who violate the law and takeover the government are declared leaders and heroes. We have to change this mind set,” he said.

Regarding the book, he said usually authors came from abroad, launched their book in Islamabad, and returned, but Ahmed Saleem worked in Balochistan and unveiled the injustice in the province.

He said the book truly documented the history of Balochistan.

The book provides the political history of Balochistan, with analysis, copies of rare documents and compilation of events that shaped the Baloch history.

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