KARACHI, March 25: Balochistan National Party-M chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal said on Monday that the key to resolving the Balochistan issue lay in the six points he had submitted in the Supreme Court during the hearing on unrest in the province. But the formula, he said, had been “thrown in our face”.
He was talking to reporters at the Quaid-i-Azam International Airport on Monday after his return from self-exile in Dubai. Mr Mengal was received at the airport by slogan-chanting activists and supporters of his party.
They were waving tri-colour party flags and tried to get close to their leader, making it difficult for media personnel to properly record his views.
Replying to questions in a confident tone, Mr Mengal said he had respect for the militants who had announced a boycott of the coming elections but he also did not want them to impose their will on others by force.
He said it would be premature to say anything now about forming an electoral alliance with the PML-N, PPP or any other party without studying the current situation in the country and his party’s viewpoint.
He said he had convened a meeting of his party’s central committee at his residence here on Tuesday to exchange views on the situation and decide whether to contest the elections.
Answering a question, he said if Kashmiris could talk about self-determination that why the people of Balochistan could not do so?
He said it was not clear how the elections would be held in a “blood-stained” Balochistan.
Mr Mengal said caretaker Prime Minister Retired Justice Hazar Khan Khoso was a thorough gentleman with a tribal background. He said he believed in democracy but undemocratic forces had always created hurdles in its path.
Even today Balochistan was on fire and bodies of innocent people were being found. “What change has taken place in the situation?”
He said democracy was bearing fruit in other provinces but there was no change in Balochistan.
He said the Hazaras were not a community but a nation which was also being victimised by those who were responsible for oppressing the Baloch people.
Mr Mengal did not find the return of former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf worth any comment.
Dispelling a perception that he had returned home at the request of the caretaker chief minister of Balochistan, he said he had announced his programme last month at the insistence of the people of the province.
Sardar Mengal, who is a former chief minister, said he had submitted the six-point solution in the Supreme Court in the suo motu case on the unrest in Balochistan but instead of responding sympathetically it was “thrown on our face”.
The six points are: All covert and overt military operations against the Baloch should immediately be suspended, all missing persons should be produced before a court, all proxy death squads operating under the supervision of the Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence should be disbanded, Baloch political parties should be allowed to function and resume their political activities without any interference from intelligence agencies, persons responsible for inhuman torture, killing and dumping of bodies of Baloch political leaders and activists should be brought to justice and measures should be taken for the rehabilitation of thousands of displaced Baloch living in an appalling condition.
Talking to reporters at his residence in the evening, Mr Mengal said he had found that not only mutilated bodies were being found in Balochistan but the graveyards of Karachi also had become attractive spots for the perpetrators. The city’s streets smelt of blood after the five-year rule of the PPP.
He said he would not have had to live in exile for four years had there been constitutional rule in the country.
He said his six-point formula was in line with the constitution and laws but 70 bodies had been found dumped and 60 target killings had taken place since its presentation. “Even today a worker of my party, Manzoor, was killed in Khuzdar.”
The BNP-M chief said government institutions were trying to get their point of view accepted by force but they were mistaken. The use of force has pushed Balochistan to the present situation.
He expressed gratitude to the parties which had sympathised with him, including the PML, PPP and MQM, but said they had failed to resolve the Balochistan issue.
Replying to a question, he said time to form an electoral alliance had passed and now only seat adjustment with likeminded parties could be possible.
Mr Mengal said free, fair and transparent elections could not be held without putting an end to interference by intelligence agencies.
Replying to another question, he said the caretaker government was unlikely to succeed in restoring law and order in about two months while previous rulers had failed to do so in five years.