Despite “tall claims” on the part of current rulers, mutilated dead bodies were still being recovered in the province and that political workers were still being picked up by what he alleged to be the state’s “security apparatus”.
APC receives mixed response from Baloch nationalist leaders
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QUETTA: Nationalist parties in Balochistan have termed the recovery of ‘missing persons’ and an end to the ‘kill and dump’ policy as key to a solution for issues relating to the militancy-hit province.
The recently held All Parties Conference (APC) had empowered Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch to sort out issues through political means.
“This meeting authorises the provincial government of Balochistan and its chief minister to initiate the process of dialogue with all estranged Baloch elements inside and outside of the country with a view to bring them back to (the) national mainstream,” said a consensus resolution passed by the APC.
Chief Minister Dr Malik Baloch has already announced initiation of dialogue with all armed groups in the volatile province. Hitherto, there has been no response on part of militant groups to Dr Malik’s offer. “We will hold dialogue with Baloch separatists and banned religious groups,” Dr Malik said.
The APC resolution, however, made no mention of ‘missing persons’ or enforced disappearances. “Until and unless, missing persons are recovered, I do not see any breakthrough,” said Tahir Bizenjo, a former senator and ideologue of the National Party which leads the provincial government.
Bizenjo told this scribe that important confidence building measures need to be adopted by the federal government to pave the way for negotiated settlement of issues relating to Balochistan.
Central Secretary Information of the Balochistan National Party – Mengal, Agha Hassan Baloch, appeared to pessimist. “I do not think Dr Sahab will be given the mandate…it seems to be mere lip service towards Balochistan,” he said.
The BNP-M leader claimed that despite “tall claims” on the part of current rulers, mutilated dead bodies were still being recovered in the province and that political workers were still being picked up by what he alleged to be the state’s “security apparatus”.
However, Tahir Bizenjo saw this APC differently from past ones.
Bizenjo said that for the first time the Balochistan issue was thoroughly discussed by the military establishment and the country’s political leadership. “Yes, we want an end to the bloodshed,” he said.
He said restoration of peace in the province was his party’s first and foremost priority. “If the Center (federal government) does not take serious steps, then the already troublesome situation may take a turn for the worse,” he said.
Former ruling party, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), had formed several committees to pave the way for a negotiated settlement of the Balochistan issue. However, Bizenjo said those committees failed to even initiate dialogue with resistance groups.
For instance, he said, the PPP had promised to bring the killers of Nawab Akbar Bugti to book through a judicial commission under the Aghaz-i-Haqooq-i-Balochistan package. “But they failed to translate words into action,” he said.
The recently held All Parties Conference (APC) had empowered Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch to “nitiate the process of dialogue with all estranged Baloch elements inside and outside of the country.”—APP/File Photo