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No Foreign Power behind Balochistan
|by R C Ganjoo|
The turbulent north-western Balochistan province of Pakistan has been on the boil for the last couple of years. Trapped in poverty and underdevelopment, Balochistan is the least developed and most backward province in Pakistan.
In its interim order issued on October 12, the supreme court of Pakistan ruled that the Balochistan government had failed to maintain law and order, and directed the federal government to stop being a silent spectator and adopt appropriate measures to protect the lives and properties of citizens.
The political parties representing the Baloch majority districts are Balochistan National Party (Mengal) and National Party (NP), both of whom believe in parliamentary politics and both of whom regard their boycott of 2008 elections as a big mistake.
Rehmat Ali Baloch, 37 the Labour Secretary and a Member Central committee of National Party on telephonic interview to R C GANJOO said as far as provincial government of Balochistan is concerned it has lost its constitutional authority to govern the province because of violation of fundamental rights and human rights violation of the people.
Q: Is your National Party prepared for forthcoming general elections in Pakistan.
Of course, we are fully prepared to contest upcoming general elections in Pakistan. It is our fundamental right to participate in elections as it has already been decided in our central working committee.
Q: Will upcoming elections change status quo in Balochistan?
There is no guarantee that election will change the status quo in Balochistan. But it will be our earnest efforts to give solace to the people from the sufferings they are facing.
Q: On Sardar Akthar Mengal , former Chief minister of Balochistan and president BNP recent visit to Pakistan, he met political leaders like Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif ,Syed Manawar Hussain and Saraiki leader Abdul Majeed Kunjoo and discussed with them about new Pakistan concept. What do you say about it?
I have no knowledge about the concept of New Pakistan. But our party totally appreciate his attempt to approach leaders of political parties with whom he discussed various problems ranging from fundamental rights, law and order to human rights violation in Balochistan. Our party leadership discussed at length with him about turbulent state of Balochistan.
Q: Akthar Mengal is on record that “It is time for Balochistan to seek divorce from Pakistan’s federation”. Your comments?
It will not be appropriate for me to comment on his statement. He has his own party policy and I have my own. However, he must have given this statement according to his party policy.
Q: Some Baloch leaders demand for independence and a number of others have been vowing for self-determination. Where does your party fit in between the two demands?
We are in support of self-determination. The demand of right of self determination is clearly mentioned in our party constitution and we have been fighting for it.
Q: Balochistan, a provincial government is under Pakistan’s control. What do you prefer between the two - armed struggle or parliamentary politics?
There are various ways and means of struggle to achieve the goal. But being a responsible political party, National Party believes in democratic political struggle without colour, caste and creed. We, certainly not in support of other illogical methods of struggle.
Q: Islamabad has always claimed that the Baloch resistance has been backed by India, its archenemy. Are foreign forces helping you? What are your comments?
It is being claimed by state (Pakistan) and not by us. If at all they (Pakistan) are so sure then the responsibility falls on them (Pakistan) to prove before the world community and also get themselves protected from the foreign forces intervention. It is wrong to say that any foreign force is helping Balochistan political struggle.
Q: The former army chief Musharraf is on record saying in 2006 that out of the total seventy-seven Sardars in Balochistan, seventy-four were pro-establishment and only three – Bugti, Marri and Mengal – opposed his dictatorship. Do you agree?
I don’t agree to Musharraf’s point of view. It is difficult to understand Balochistan. Balochistan is not under the command of Sardars. There is no Sardari system existing now days except in a few pockets. There are political leaders who have been fighting for the peace, prosperity and integrity of the province with the support of educated youth. It was during Musharraf’s regime that the wave of hatred and disturbance started and today what we see Balochistan is burning.
Q: Who is responsible for whatever is happening in Balochistan, as no one is safe and protected.
It is the responsibility of state (Pakistan Government) to give protection and security but it is all revere here. For the past 63 years no government ever gave attention to Balochistan. It is a fact that a conspiracy has been hatched against Balochistan under which target killing, kidnapping, disappearances, communal clashes etc are being witnessed.
Q: Are you satisfied with the Pakistan’s Supreme Court interim order issued against the provincial government.
People of Balochistan have pinned the last hope in Supreme Court, to restore our fundamental rights for prosperity and tranquility in Balochistan. Though, too late but better for us, if Supreme Court decision is implemented in letter and spirit. If not then God only can help.
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