Elections In Balochistan: Polls Not Priority For Bnp, Mengal Speaking From Dubai, Says Party Yet To Make Decision, But ‘nothing Has Changed’.

there had been no significant change in the political realm which could provide a compelling reason for the BNP to partake in the elections.

Balochistan National Party (BNP) President Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal said on Monday that his party’s participation in the next general elections is not on his priority list.

Talking to the media by telephone from Dubai, Mengal said the BNP is a democratic, political and parliamentary party. On the other hand, he added, extra-constitutional actions, killings, enforced disappearances and indiscriminate arrests continue in Balochistan, with political parties being pushed to the sidelines as a result of the “brute use of force” by the state.

The BNP president, while saying elections were not a priority, did say that the party’s central committee will take a decision over whether it should contest the polls or not.

While leaving his options open, Mengal lamented that there had been no significant change in the political realm which could provide a compelling reason for the BNP to partake in the elections.

The BNP president alleged that religious extremism and intolerance, as well as sectarian violence, were promoted by security forces in Balochistan. He pointed out that there was no history of religious intolerance in the province, adding that the “real rulers” had imported such sins under the cover of religion.

“Under a sinister plan, sectarian violence, religious intolerance, religious fascism and obscurantism was promoted by rulers to tarnish the image of Balochistan and its people,” Mengal claimed.

He also criticised the provincial government, saying that its performance over the last five years has been “disappointing”, as it failed to protect the life and property of the people. Ministers and provincial rulers were involved corruption, he claimed.

Mengal pointed out that NAB had earlier raised the issue of massive corruption in Balochistan, and that the provincial administration had raised a hue and cry, claiming that federal institutions were interfering in Balochistan’s internal affairs.

However, he alleged, when the Frontier Corps (FC) and other security agencies were involved in enforced disappearances, target killings and dumping political activists’ bodies in the open, no minister registered his protest.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2012

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