Balochistan Issue: Confidence Building Measures Are Way Forward: Qadir Baloch

Under the Constitutional amendments, Balochs should also be given their due rights and their authority over the resources of the province.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 – Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Minister for States and Frontier Regions has said there is strong need to initiate confidence building measures in Balochistan to win over hearts of estranged Balochs.

In an exclusive interview with Pakistan Observer over the issue of Balochistan, he said Balochs are patriots and they want their due rights. A fact finding judicial Commission should be set up to know causes of disturbances and whether there was any need to launch military operation. Qadir Baloch who also served as Governor and Corps Commander in Balochistan said demographically, Balochistan is divided into Pashtun areas and heartland of Balochs.The trouble started in Baloch areas when Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed. Then in later years some leaders from nationalist parties were killed and their bodies were mutilated.

Now an elected government led by Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch belonging to National Party has taken over the charge of the province and he has started moving ahead to bring back the estranged Balochs. Despite single largest party in the province, PML (N) has supported Dr. Malik to address the issues.

He said some areas including Panjgoure, Kharan, Turbat, Khuzdar, Mastung, Kalat and Washuk are the most affected areas while there are some less affected areas including Kohlu, Dera Bugti and Sibbi.

There are some self-exiled leaders of Balochs living abroad.

By taking confidence building measures, the wounds of Baloch nationalists cab be healed. Facts should be found out about disturbances including killing of Bugti in 2006 and some Baloch nationalists which stirred the situation. The issue of missing persons should also be resolved. The affected people should be rehabilitated. If found innocent, the affected people should also be compensated. After confidence building measures, a process of dialogue should be initiated.

Abdul Qadir Baloch said Balochistan enjoys strategic position. Foreign elements are also active to have their influence.

Foreign interference cannot be ruled out as those forces want their control over the vast natural resources in the province and also Gwadar Port. Balochistan is situated on the mouth of Strait of Hormuz through which oil is supplied to many important countries in South Asia and Far East. He lamented the elements of drug mafia, criminals, foreign funded groups and vested interests have also become active along who are killing the people. There is need to neutralise them.

Under the Constitutional amendments, Balochs should also be given their due rights and their authority over the resources of the province.

He said economic development of the province in a big way should be launched which will help to restore confidence of young Balochs.

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