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Balochistan CM announces peace talks with militants

July 29, 2013

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Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has said a high powered committee of Balochistan lawmakers will be formed to hold dialogue with all militants groups. – File Photo
Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has said a high powered committee of Balochistan lawmakers will be formed to hold dialogue with all militants groups. – File Photo

QUETTA: Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has announced to hold dialogue with all militant groups operating in the restive province of Pakistan.

Speaking in the Balochistan Assembly over worsening law and order in the province on Monday, Dr Baloch said a high powered committee comprising members of the assembly would be formed to hold dialogue with all militant groups operating in Balochistan.

“Formal negotiations would be initiated soon after Eid-ul-Fitar,” he announced in the house. Dr Baloch said use of force has not produced any positive result and emphasised on political solution to all issues of the province.

He further said that the provincial and federal governments are on the same page regarding talks with militants.

In response to a question, he said that all stake holders were taken onboard regarding talks with militants groups. He said his government has resettled family members of Late Nawab Akbar Bugti in Dera Bugti. “Whether sectarian or Baloch groups, we will hold talks with them,” he said.

Sectarian killings and suicide bombings against Shia Hazara community has claimed more than a thousand lives in the violence-ridden province over the years. Similarly violence relating to Baloch insurgency has also claimed thousands of lives.

Lawmakers in the provincial assembly have expressed concerns over deteriorating law and order situation in Balochistan. Both members of treasury and opposition benches lashed out at law enforcers for their failure to protect lives and properties of masses.

The chief minister strongly condemned killings of coast guards personnel and brother of Zahoor Buledi also. He, however, announced that unnecessary check posts on national highways would be removed after complaints by members. “To be frank, these check posts are a source of trouble rather than averting terrorism,” he remarked.

On loadshedding problem, Dr Baloch said the provincial government was determined to resolve the issue of power outages. He said the situation was grave when it comes to availability of power supply in Balochistan.

Speaking in the house, parliamentary leader of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, Rahim Ziaratwal said no parallel government can be allowed in Balochistan. He said there was no justification for Baloch separatists to blow up electric pylons in the province.

Opposition leader Maulana Wasey urged upon government to expedite efforts for restoration of durable peace in the province.

A treasury member, Nasrullah Zarai levelled serious allegations against police. “Police have barged into houses in Bareech Colony and Belili and looted jewelry and cash money,” he claimed. Zarai said innocent inmates were harassed for more than an hour and nothing regarding terrorism was proved against them.

Another treasury member from Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, Obaidullah Jan Babat said three people were gunned in brazen day light in Qandahari bazar area of Quetta. “Kidnappers freely move everywhere in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan,” he said.

Babat said law enforcers were the silent spectators of worsening law and order situation in Balochistan.

Khalid Langove, another treasury member from ruling National Party said people of Kalat were made hostage by an influential personality backed by state agencies.

Dr Ruqia Hashmi, a PML-Q member said law enforcers were failed to protect Hazara town area of Quetta. “What is the role of frontier corps,” she questioned and added that despite strict security how a suicide bomber reached Hazara town.