Nawaz orders dialogue with angry Baloch

Published January 31, 2014
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chairing a high level meeting in Quetta. — Photo by APP
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chairing a high level meeting in Quetta. — Photo by APP

QUETTA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed the authorities to form a committee for initiating a reconciliation process and negotiations with disgruntled Baloch nationalists.

Presiding over a meeting on law and order at the Corps Headquarters here on Thursday, he said the committee should be constituted in consultation with the political leadership of Balochistan to initiate peace dialogue with the nationalists as part of the reconciliation process.

Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua, PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo, Minister for States and Frontier Regions retired Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch, Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad, IG of Frontier Corps Maj Gen Ejaz Shahid, Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Sukhera and senior military and civil officials attended the meeting.

The Commander Southern Command briefed the meeting about the presence of terrorists and extremists in the province and their activities.

Mr Sharif underlined the need for offering job opportunities to angry Baloch youths, besides launching mega development projects to remove the sense of deprivation among people.

He said that both civil and military leadership would play a joint role and evolve a comprehensive strategy to restore peace in Balochistan.

Later, the prime minister addressed provincial ministers, parliamentarians and political leaders at the Governor House and expressed sorrow over loss of lives in terrorist acts. He urged the authorities concerned to take measures to curb terrorism and provide foolproof security to people.

“Terrorism and violence are being confronted not only by people of Balochistan, but the entire country was also facing the same situation.” But, he said, the situation would be overcome soon.

HAZARS: Referring to the recent killings of Hazara Shias, Mr Sharif said the community was not alone in this difficult time. The entire nation was standing with them.

Stern action would be taken against the assailants and no more acts of terrorism and violence would be allowed in Balochistan, he added.

Mr Sharif said the Pakistan International Airlines would launch special flights for Shia pilgrims.

Referring to problems being faced by the people of Balochistan, he said Islamabad would extend all help and resources to the province.

“Balochistan will get maximum resources and help for solving problems being faced by its people.”

Referring to the construction of highways in Balochistan, the prime minister said the federal government had already allocated Rs8 billion for completion of Gwadar-Ratodero and Khuzdar-Naag Highways and these projects would be completed within a year.

He said Rs10bn had been arranged for Kalat-Chaman highway and work on the project would be launched soon.

Mr Sharif said the Gwadar-Khunjerab Highway project would bring a positive impact on economic development in Balochistan and the country at large. He said 90 per cent of revenue earned thorough the highway would be ensured to the provinces.

The government was contemplating provision of solar energy in rural and far-flung areas, he said.

The prime minister said the Pakistan Youth Business Loan programme had been designed to enable youths to set up small businesses. He said every province had a share the programme.

Opposition leader Maulana Abdul Wasey, Sardar Mohammad Saleh Bhootani, provincial ministers Rahim Ziaratwal, Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, Karim Nausherwani, Ms Rahila Durrani and some MPAs also spoke on the occasion and informed the prime minister about the problems of Balochistan.

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