QUETTA, April 13: President of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M), Sardar Akhtar Mengal, has apprised Governor Zulfiqar Ali Magsi about difficulties being faced by his party’s candidates in launching their election campaigns and said the establishment wanted to keep the party away from the polls.
Later, talking to the media, he said a party representing secessionists was creating hurdles in the BNP-M’s democratic struggle for rights and added: “Presently the situation is not conducive for achieving [Baloch] national rights through armed struggle.”
The governor called on Mr Mengal at his residence here on Saturday. They discussed political situation of Balochistan in the backdrop of preparations for May 11 elections.
Mr Magsi praised the BNP-M’s decision of taking part in the elections.
Mr Mengal informed the governor about his party’s reservations and apprehensions regarding elections and said that it seemed that powers that be were trying to oust the BNP-M from the electoral process through different methods, sources told Dawn.
Governor Magsi assured him that the government was making efforts to create conducive environment for free, fair and transparent election in Balochistan.
Later, Mr Mengal told reporters that he had apprised the governor about his party’s reservations regarding elections and “attitude of the establishment and its supporters” in this regard.
He said the authorities were not taking any step to stop dumping of bullet-riddled bodies of “missing persons”. “Even today two such bodies were found in Awaran and Hub areas,” he said, adding that this phenomenon depicted the policies of Islamabad about Balochistan.
“How free and fair elections are possible in the situation when bullet-riddled bodies are found in different areas [of the province],” Mr Mengal asked. He alleged that government officials never respected constitution and laws and “use the constitution according to their wishes and requirements”.
Replying to a question, he said that the Baloch National Front had a democratic right to give a strike call but “our party has never created any hurdle in the struggle of others. (So) others should also respect our democratic and peaceful struggle”.
“Presently it is not possible to achieve national rights through armed struggle.”
Without creating awareness among the people about their rights and their support, he insisted, national rights could not be achieved. To another question, the BNP leader said that the party would contest for 14 national and 34 provincial assembly seats in Balochistan.