Use of force cannot bring peace in Balochistan: Raisani
QUETTA: Former Balochistan chief minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani on Friday said that peace in Balochistan cannot be restored through use of force or deployment of Frontier Corps personnel.
Talking to DawnNews in an exclusive interview, the former chief minister said peace cannot be brought in Balochistan through the barrel of a gun, rather all-out efforts should be made for meaningful dialogue to address the grievances of people.
"I was not given the mandate to resolve problems in Balochistan or talk to disgruntled Baloch leaders," Nawab Raisani said when asked about initiating dialogue with exiled-Baloch leaders as chief minister.
Raisani however termed solution of the Kashmir issue integral for peace in Balochistan.
"Resolve the Kashmir issue, the Balochistan issue would be automatically resolved," Nawab Raisani said.
The former chief minister termed cordial relations with Iran, Afghanistan and India essential for durable peace in the country. Raisani admitted that there was s worsening law and order situation in Balochistan in general and Quetta in particular.
He revealed that members of the Hazara community were murdered during his tenure everyday.
The former chief minister further pointed out that even after the removal of his government, a major suicide bombing was carried out in Hazara Town.
"I admit there was no peace in Quetta during my government," Raisani said. "Recovery of bodies of missing persons was unfortunate."
He said he had taken up the issue of missing persons with the then prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gailani, former president Asif Zardari and military high-ups.
Regarding the gold and copper project, Reko Diq, Raisani said he did not make any compromise over the multi-billion dollar project, and guarded the natural assets that belonged to the people of Balochistan despite all odds.
"I bore pressure but protected the natural reservoirs of the people of Balochistan," he said.
Raisani said that former president Asif Zardari called him for a meeting in the Presidency regarding Reko Diq but he left the meeting in the middle.
"In the beginning, the former president told me the meeting is about law and order, but when I went there, they told me it was about Reko Diq," he said, adding that he left the meeting without having dinner.
The former chief minister further revealed that Gwadar was handed over to Chinese companies without the consent of the Balochistan government.