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QUETTA: The former chief minister of Balochistan and National Party leader, Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, has called for initiating negotiations with disgruntled Baloch leaders living in self-exile.

Talking to reporters in Nushki on Sunday, he said the federal and Balochistan government should find a better way for initiating a dialogue process with the disgruntled Baloch leaders. An effective dialogue process could find a solution of the Balochistan issue, he added.

The former chief minister said the six-point agenda of Balochistan National Party-Mengal chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal did not mention the issue of missing persons. He questioned that how could the issue of missing persons be resolved without holding negotiations with the disgruntled Baloch leaders.

He also called for ending violence and corruption in Balochistan, saying that without it the process of development in the province could not be ensured. He urged the six-party ruling alliance in Balochistan to focus on the province’s security situation because it was a hurdle in the way of development. He also urged the new provincial government to work for bringing improvement in the health and education sectors and for reduction of poverty.

Malik Baloch alleged massive rigging in the July 25 elections and said the National Party was punished in the election for supporting the country’s democratic process.

He said though his party was in the opposition, it still called for giving a chance to the current government to complete its constitutional tenure.

On a question about his decision to not contest the July election, Malik Baloch said he had spent 30 years in the assembly and wanted to give a chance to other leaders of his party to contest election from his constituency.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2018