QUETTA, Sept 3: The Balochistan National Party on Sunday announced that it decided to resign from the National Assembly, Senate and the provincial assembly and all local bodies in protest against the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti and the ‘disgraceful’ burial of his body.

The decision was announced by Sardar Akhtar Mengal, chief of his own faction of the Balochistan National Party, at a joint public meeting held at Manan Chowk here under the aegis of the ARD, PONM and the ANP.

The meeting, presided over by Sardar Mengal, was addressed by Nawab Ayaz Khan Jogezai of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, Sardar Sanaullah Zehri of the National Party, Nawabzada Lashkari Raisani of the People’s Party Parliamentarians, Khudadad Khan of the Awami National Party, Rafiq Khoso of the Jamhoori Watan Party, Syed Dost Agha of the Tehrik-i-Insaf and Nasibullah Bazai of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz).

According to the BNP decision, Senator Sanaullah Baloch, MNA Rauf Mengal, MPAs Mir Akbar Mengal and Akhtar Hussain, the district nazim of Khuzdar as well as nazims and councillors of other districts would submit their resignations to the BNP (Mengal) central command on Monday.

The BNP leader said that his party had decided to quit assemblies which had lost their importance. Resolutions passed by the provincial assemblies are neither respected nor heeded. Therefore, he said, there was no point to continue sitting in such assemblies.

Sardar Mengal accused the rulers of not treating the Baloch people as equal citizens. “They have been facing state excesses for a long time, but the killing of Nawab Bugti and the way in which his body has been treated are the worst of all excesses. We cannot live in a Pakistan where Balochs have no respect and rights,” he said.

He warned that the fight was now directly between the Punjab army and the Baloch people and appealed to the Pakhtuns to either distance themselves from Punjab or remain impartial in the conflict.

Nawab Jogezai said that the Baloch and Pakhtun forces should join hands and wage a joint struggle to defeat the forces that had been denying rights to the oppressed nationalities.

Sardar Sanaullah Zehri said that Nawab Bugti’s only fault was that he had refused to compromise on the rights of the people of Balochistan, adding that the late nationalist leader had told him recently that the government was bent upon killing him.

He accused the government forces of having used chemical weapons to kill the Baloch leader and said that the Baloch people were proud of the sacrifice, which Nawab Bugti had rendered for the rights of Baloch people.

Khudadad Khan said that before leaving for Peshawar, his party leader Asfandyar Wali Khan had called for waging a united struggle, which was the only way to defeat the enemies of oppressed nationalities.

Rafiq Khoso urged all Baloch political parties to merge into a single party as Nawab Bugti had desired. He said that the late Baloch leader had not surrendered to usurpers and stood his ground till the last moment.

Dost Agha said that Tehrik-i-Insaf supported the idea of a joint struggle against the military dictatorship.

Nasibullah Bazai condemned the killing of the JWP leader and said that Nawaz Sharif had publicly announced support for the Baloch struggle against the Musharraf-led government and its anti-people policies.

The meeting adopted several resolutions including one condemning the killing of Nawab Bugti and the government’s refusal to hand over his body to his heirs. Other resolutions called for an immediate end to the military operation in Balochistan and Waziristan, the release of all political detainees and withdrawal of cases against them. Other resolutions called for expelling foreigners from Waziristan and honourable return of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif.

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