Brahamdagh Bugti, the separatist leader of the outlawed Baloch Republican Party (BRP) on Wednesday said that he is willing to negotiate with the government over the Balochistan issue, according to an interview given to BBC Urdu.
“If our friends, companions, political allies and finally the people are in favour of this, then we are definitely ready to live with Pakistan,” said Bugti.
“We want to resolve all issues politically and peacefully,” added Bugti.
Bugti had always rejected negotiations in the past and remained firm in his stance for an ‘independent’ Balochistan.
Referring to Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who is currently in London, Bugti said, “We are ready to meet him as we want a political solution to the problem.”
Bugti, who currently resides in Switzerland, elaborated by asking what difference has been made by torture, killings and arrests in the last ten to fifteen years.
He also stated that the negotiating environment must be conducive.
When asked about assistance from India, Bugti said he will not deny it, as it is usual for people to ask for assistance when they are defending themselves.
“Development in Balochistan is irrelevant, as a democratic government is not present in the province and the Baloch people were not included in the decision,” said Bugti.
Chief Minister Balochistan welcomes Bugti's statement
Chief Minister Balochistan, Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has welcomed the statement from Brahamdagh Bugti and termed it a positive step towards restoration of normalcy in the province.
“Flames of conflict must be extinguished in Balochistan, the province needs to heal after 15 long years of violence,” said the chief minister.
The chief minister stated that the civil and military leadership were on the same page with regards to issues relating to Balochistan.
“It has been our stance to resolve all issues faced by Balochistan through political means,” added Baloch.
He also said that his government had launched a policy of reconciliation in Balochistan to bring an end to the violence and unrest.
Also read: Zehri meets Khan of Kalat in London
It is pertinent to mention that security operations in Balochistan have increased in frequency and militants who were previously fighting against the state have started surrendering in substantial numbers, after an amnesty was announced.
Earlier in August, around 400 militants had laid down their weapons before authorities in Quetta during a ceremony to celebrate Pakistan's Independence Day.
The government is also engaged in negotiations with the Khan of Kalat, Mir Suleman Dawood.
Earlier, Chief of Jhalawan and Senior Balochistan Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri had met the exiled Baloch leader Khan of Kalat in London.
Chief Minister Balochistan had confirmed that his government will request members of the 'Grand Baloch Jirga' to make a formal appeal for Khan of Kalat’s return.
The chief minister had also stated that many militants had surrendered their weapons and joined the political process, which is an encouraging sign for the province.