A regional party in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province has accused people in the federal government of not wanting a solution to the province’s problems and claimed every segment of the Baloch society was angry at facing abuse for raising one’s voice for upholding rights
A regional party in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province has accused people in the federal government of not wanting a solution to the province’s problems and claimed every segment of the Baloch society was angry at facing abuse for raising one’s voice for upholding rights.
“The problems of Balochistan should be solved but some people, most of them belonging to the government, do not want that,” Balochistan National Party-Mengal chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal said, talking to a private television channel.
“Real forces” do not want a solution to the problem of Balochistan,” the BNP-M leader said. “I am serious about the talks but on the other side there are people who are against negotiations.”
He said the government has used the term “angry Baloch” and added: “Give us any title but politically resolve the issues.”
He said the anger of the Baloch had intensified so much that they no longer expressed it.
The BNP-M chief said all people of Balochistan were angry with the state except the ministers.
He said even bigger issues had been resolved through negotiations and the issue of Balochistan could also be resolved through dialogue.
In response to a question, he said: “I don’t think the government is serious in negotiations. However, due to the changing situation in the region, the idea of dialogue has been floated.”
Mengal’s comments came in the context of recent conciliatory statements on Balochistan by Prime Minister Imran Khan and his ministers. Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry was recently quoted as saying: "You will see that Balochistan will soon become a hub of peace."
The minister said peace in the province was important to the government because Balochistan was central to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Balochistan is Pakistan's largest province and borders both Iran and Afghanistan while in the south it opens out to the Arabian Sea.
A day before Chaudhry’s statement, Imran Khan said during a day-long visit to Gwadar - a port city on the southwest coast of Balochistan - he was considering "talking to insurgents" in Balochistan. The Chinese have invested heavily in Gwadar as part of the CPEC.
Sardar Mengal said the possibility of the Taliban’s advance on Pakistan after the withdrawal of US and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) forces from Afghanistan was being feared in the country, particularly in Balochistan.