Former Chief Minister Balochistan Akhtar Mengal talking to the media persons after a meeting with Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Imran Khan at Balochistan House. — Photo by Online

ISLAMABAD: The chief of Balochistan National Party-M (BNP-M), Sardar Akhtar MEngal ridiculed Interior Minister Rehman Malik's claim on Saturday about foreign involvement in Balochistan and criticised the government, especially the security for4ces for their stance in the Supreme Court.

“I don’t know why foreign hands are visible only to Rehman Malik and the agencies” the BNP leader said while talking to reporters after meeting Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan.

The BNP leader lamented that security forces had no regret for their role in Balochistan’s tragedy, citing their “aggressive posturing” in the Supreme Court.

Reacting to the federal government’s denial in the Supreme Court on Friday regarding presence of “death squads” in Balochistan, the BNP leader wondered who was killing the Baloch people nonetheless. “Is it a dengue squad which is killing our people if there are no death squads” he said sarcastically.

The denial of the government had come in response to a six-point charter submitted to the court by Mr Mengal, who is also the former chief minister of Balochistan, alleging that proxy death squads like Al Shams and Al Badar of Bangladesh were responsible for enforced disappearances and unrest in the province.

The BNP leader also criticised Attorney General Irfan Qadir for his role in the SC, saying he was “behaving like a lieutenant-general”. He said all institutions had disappointed the Baloch people, who were now looking towards the SC.

Mr Mengal said only those parties which enjoyed power could resolve the crisis. “ The rulers have lost trust because of their actions and attitude.

“When we complain, it is said we are using harsh language,” he complained. The deprivation of the people of Balochistan could not be removed through mere apologies, he added.

Mr Mengal, who returned to the country after ending his three-year self-imposed exile to personally appear before the SC currently hearing the case regarding the situation in Balochistan, thanked Imran Khan for supporting the six-point charter proposed by him.

The BNP leader had unveiled his six-point plan meant to bring back normalcy to the volatile province before the apex court, calling for bringing to an end to all covert and overt military operations against the Baloch, production of all missing people before a court of law, disbanding of all proxy death squads, allowing Baloch parties to resume political activities and bringing to book those responsible for torture, killing and dumping of bodies.

Endorsing the points raised by Mr Mengal, Imran Khan said a non-representative government in the province was functioning and it was responsible for the worsening situation in Balochistan. The federal government writ, he said, existed nowhere in the country. He said that rulers had not learnt any lesson from the past.

“It is time to build a new Pakistan, and in order to do so we will have to learn from our own mistakes,” Mr Khan said, adding: “It is imperative that justice is served to all, including the smaller provinces, minorities and all sects.”

The PTI chief said his party would resolve the Balochistan problem on priority basis, if elected to power.

Terming military operations destructive, he said the PTI believed that political issues should be resolved politically.

Senior PTI leader Makhdoom Javed Hashmi was also present during the meeting between Mr Khan and Mr Mengal.

On Friday, Mr Mengal met PML-N President Nawaz Sharif who had also endorsed the views of the Baloch leader.

Ikram Junaidi adds: Addressing a gathering of the Supreme Court Bar Association here, Mr Mengal said that Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rahman was not a traitor, but attitude of the military establishment had forced him to start a freedom movement. He warned that if corrective measures were not taken, Balochistan would also face the same fate.

He said the six-point plan presented by Sheikh Mujib did not carry any demand for freedom or secession, but the military establishment’s refusal to hold talks over the issue led to dismemberment of the country.

“Balochistan is passing through the same stage and if remedial steps were not taken, it will have the same fate. The Baloch youths are being killed and their mothers have been waiting to receive bodies of their sons, but agencies even do not hand over bodies of their loved-ones to them,” he said.

“Almost every leader – from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf to Asif Zardari -- apologised for misdeeds of the former leadership, but no one ever bothered to take action against responsible personalities of the military establishment,” he said.

“Benazir Bhutto condemned the murder of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti but her party leaders have been saying that Mr Bugti had committed suicide. On the other hand ruling party’s attorney general has been saying that no operation is going on in Balochistan and no-one is missing,” he said.

“There are videos of kidnapping of Baloch people but the military establishment is not ready to accept the fact. In Kharotabad incident, even a pregnant woman was killed but so far no-one has been punished,” he said.


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