Extremism being promoted in Balochistan to weaken nationalists: Mengal‏

Published January 15, 2015
BNP-M Chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal spoke with the author in an exclusive interview.  -DawnNews screengrab
BNP-M Chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal spoke with the author in an exclusive interview. -DawnNews screengrab

QUETTA: Chief of Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M), Sardar Akhtar Mengal has said extremism was being promoted in Baloch society to weaken Baloch nationalists.

"Extremists are penetrating in a tolerant Baloch society," Mengal told DawnNews in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

He said new shadowy extremist organisations were surfacing in the province to undermine the Baloch political and democratic movement.

He rejected claims of the nationalists-led government that the law and order situation has improved in Balochistan.

Mengal stated that in the chief minister's own constituency, mutilated bodies were being found.

When asked about his participation in proposed multiparty conference in Balochistan, Mengal said, "earlier I may participate, currently I may not be in a position to participate in any APC".

Mengal questioned the power of any future APC with regard to Balochistan.

The former chief minister lamented that 'mass graves' were still being recovered in Balochistan.

He stated that the trust deficit between the government and political forces needs to be bridged to make dialogue a success.

Mengal lashed out at both Baloch and Pashtoon nationalist parties running the government in Balochistan.

"They made compromises and forgot the masses," he added.

Regarding the 18th Amendment, he said Balochistan did not get any powers rather its share in charity was increased after the amendment.

He however claimed that the signatories of the amendment were given power as a gift in Balochistan.

"Do you think the chief minister has administrative powers as per the constitution," he questioned.

The former chief minister also expressed resentment regarding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and complained that the premier used to raise slogans for Balochistan when he was in the opposition.

About the copper and gold project Reko Diq, Mengal stated that there was no justification for a 25-member delegation to visit Paris at the expense of the national exchequer.

"Baloch masses would not spare the rulers if they sold the gold-copper project," he warned.

Endowed with rich but largely unexploited reserves of copper and gold, Balochistan also supplies much of the natural gas feeding Pakistan's lifeline textile industry in eastern Punjab province, and is home to a deepwater port at Gwadar.

Balochistan is Pakistan’s biggest but least populous and least developed province.

A long-running nationalist movement is seeking more autonomy and a greater share of natural resources, including the gas the province supplies to the whole country.

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