Mengal says BNP may pull out of alliance if PTI fails to keep its word

Updated April 18, 2019


BNP-M chief says that the federal government is dragging feet over the agreement with BNP and people of Balochistan. ─ Dawn/File
BNP-M chief says that the federal government is dragging feet over the agreement with BNP and people of Balochistan. ─ Dawn/File

SHIKARPUR: Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) chief Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal has warned that his party may pull out of its alliance with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) after one year if the government fails to fulfil commitments made with Balochistan’s people before election.

Mr Mengal said at a press conference at Shikarpur Press Club here on Wednesday that when the PTI government failed to form a high-level committee of eight members — four each from the government and BNP-M — to implement six points of the party’s agreement with the PTI, it created misunderstandings and shook their trust.

He said the PTI government had pledged to improve the situation in Balochistan which had remained deprived of its fundamental, constitutional, democratic and moral rights and plagued with serious issues of crumbling healthcare, unemployment, lack of safe drinking water, terrorism and political and social problems for the past 70 years.

He said that when the PTI came to power over its pledge to bring change, improve people’s lot and socio-economic conditions and provide speedy justice, the BNP extended its hand to the party after it made a commitment to resolve problems. But it had since been dragging feet over the agreement with BNP and people of Balochistan.

He said in answer to a question about the 18th Amendment that the provinces did not have complete provincial autonomy under the amendment except some financial assistance given as “alms” which the provinces did not want to lose. “We, however, reserve our constitutional right to oppose any action that the government may take to roll back the amendment,” he said.

About ongoing countrywide accountability drive, Mr Mengal said that he was in favour of accountability in the larger interest of the country and its people but he was not satisfied with the present system of accountability because it was not across the board and equal for all from top to bottom.

He said that no development had been carried out in Gwadar area under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and questioned the expenditure of $650 million in the name of uplift. Not even a rupee had been used on the construction of roads in Gwadar while Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa did not benefit from CPEC, he said.

Mr Mengal demanded immediate arrest of the culprits involved in the killings of members of Hazara community and said that his heart went out to the community as it had suffered a lot and for long.

SUKKUR: Mr Mengal told journalists here that unfortunately, disposition of politicians and parties’ attitude changed completely the moment they came to power.

He said at the residence of Union Council No. 23 chairman Mir Abdul Rehman Mengal here that PTI forgot its promises after forming the government. No promises and claims made before election saw the light of the day, he said.

He said that there was little progress on missing persons as well. Some youths did turn up but there were still a large number of people missing. “We want all released,” he added.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2019