THE president’s spokesman and some senators have now admitted that until the matter of the missing persons is settled, there will be no forward progress on Balochistan.

Taking part in a Senate debate, Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the disappearance of activists has caused unrest…. He urged that the recommendations of the first commission constituted regarding missing people should be made public and implemented, and suggested … cooperation with the UN working group on missing persons. Meanwhile, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik is adding fuel to the fire by alleging the Balochistan Liberation Army is an agent of imperialism and that the US and some other countries are involved in the matter.

The Baloch people cannot be won over through the use of force. It is strange that our rulers are unable to comprehend this. Maybe they don’t want to and that is why a person in power is uttering words which further complicate the situation. Pervez Musharraf also issued threats…. He killed the 79-year-old Nawab Akbar Bugti which pushed the Baloch to the point of no return. Senators admitted this on the floor of the house recently.

…Had Baloch anger been addressed properly, we would have had a different situation today.

Unfortunately, we have no traditions of recognising others’ rights. Resultantly, we lost one wing of the country…. The situation in Sindh too is not much better with hurt on the water or the financial issues. The most recent cut was that some 1.3 million voters are missing from the voters’ lists.…

We agree that the solution of the Balochistan situation lies in properly addressing the missing persons’ issue. The demands of enraged Baloch leaders should be given due consideration. If the state continues to use brute force, we will never win over the Baloch people. —(Aug 4)

Selected and translated by Sohail Sangi.

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