No progress: Mengal decries stagnant Balochistan situation

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 6:00:06 by



QUETTA / KARACHI: 

Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP) chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal arrived in Pakistan on Monday with guns blazing, hitting out at the government and judiciary for its failure to improve the situation in Balochistan.

The former chief minister said the situation in Balochistan was the same as it was during former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s tenure.

“Democracy doesn’t mean anything for the people of Balochistan,” he commented. “We received more corpses during the tenure of the democratic government than during a dictatorship.”

Mengal arrived at the Jinnah Airport from Dubai on Monday to a warm welcome, and addressed media later in the day at his residence.

If the right of self-determination could be demanded for Kashmir then why not for the people of Balochistan, Mengal asked rhetorically, adding that the BNP would convene a meeting today (Tuesday) to decide whether or not it would participate in the upcoming general elections.

The party chief also did not seem impressed by the Supreme Court, which is currently hearing a case on the Balochistan law and order situation.

Mengal said the six-point solution that he had presented to the apex court six months ago during his last trip to Pakistan was in accordance to the Constitution, legal and human rights. “Hundreds of more Baloch persons went missing after my appearance before the Supreme Court,” he added.

Mengal said that 60 Baloch people were targeted, adding that those in power had turned a blind eye to the worsening situation in Balochistan. Speaking about Karachi, he said he had come to the city after four years and added, “Nothing has been changed yet but the graveyards. There is bloodshed everywhere.”

However, the BNP leader said he was a strong supporter of democracy. “We are political workers and always in favour of democracy,” he added.

Mengal welcomed the appointment of the new caretaker chief minister, Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Barozai, adding that he was a good person.

While he admitted meeting PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif in Dubai, he said they had not discussed anything about the elections.

Balochistan caretaker CM’s comments

Meanwhile, the Balochistan caretaker chief minister termed Mengal’s arrival in Pakistan a positive omen for the electoral process.

Chairing a meeting on the law and order situation in the province on Monday, Barozai said that discriminatory or concessionary attitude would not be adopted towards any candidate.

“Equal opportunities of participation would be provided to all the candidates in elections along with the all possible efforts to ensure the right to vote to every citizen,” he said.

“The process of contacting all the political, especially the nationalist leaders have been started and soon meetings would also begin with them,”

he said, adding that it would yield positive results. Stressing upon the role of intelligence agencies as crucial, he said that districts that are sensitive need special attention.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2013.



Quetta News Sources -2

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