LAHORE, Oct 1: Seeking an end to secret agencies’ role in Balochistan, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has warned that situation in the province will worsen if attempts are made to introduce a fake leadership through the general election.

“The coming elections can become a ray of hope if the exercise is held in a fair and free manner and no force plays any role in hampering real representatives of the masses,” Mr Sharif told reporters after meeting Talal Bugti, chief of Jamhoori Watan Party and son of the late Nawab Akbar Bugti, on Monday.

The PML-N chief announced that he would accompany Talal Bugti to bring the angry Baloch leadership back to the country after military forces were withdrawn from Balochistan.

He said the process of holding transparent and free elections should be started at once by ending the role of forces because they could manipulate the process. Reiterating the demand for trial of Bugti’s killers and recovery of missing persons, Mr Sharif said the government had done nothing over the past four years to heal the wounds inflicted on Balochistan. “The government did nothing to compensate for brutalities against the people. Tendering an apology and announcing a package are not enough.”

He regretted that “true Baloch leaders” like Khair Bakhsh Marri, Talal Bugti, Ataullah Mengal and Akhtar Mengal were not invited to the all-party conference held in the Prime Minister’s House.

Recalling the removal of Akhtar Mengal’s government in 1997 — when Nawaz Sharif was prime minister, he said he fell prey to a conspiracy hatched by the elements who, after the ouster of PML-N government in a military coup in 1999, had joined the Musharraf government.

About hopes reposed by BNP chief Akhtar Mengal and Talal Bugti in the Supreme Court, he said these should be kept intact so that the people were not forced to seek any other means for getting their grievances addressed.

Talal Bugti alleged that agencies were involved in explosions and murder of settlers as well as Hazaras in the province. He said whenever the agencies feared that the judiciary was going to act against them, they resorted to violence to give an impression that there presence in Balochistan was necessary to maintain law and order.

Talal Bugti said he feared that such a situation would be created by these elements again which could provide an excuse for international intervention.

He was of the opinion that the situation could be improved only by withdrawing the forces, especially the Frontier Constabulary, from the province and urged the people of Punjab to help him in this cause.

He said the day the forces were withdrawn he himself would go abroad to persuade the disgruntled Baloch leaders to return to the country.

In reply to a question, Nawaz Sharif said he would welcome an election alliance with Baloch parties.

Talal Bugti said his party would boycott the elections if they were held under the supervision of the army.


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