QUETTA: Political parties of all hues in Balochistan, including two major ones, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), set aside their differences on Tuesday to mark the 21st anniversary of nuc­lear tests dubbed as Yaum-i-Takbeer, even though the parties did so separately.

On May 28, 1998 Pakistan conducted five nuclear tests at Ras Koh, Chagai. Two days later, Pakistan conducted another test in Kharan.

Addressing a rally in Quetta, Jamal Shah, PML-N general secretary for Balo­ch­istan and former speaker of Balochistan Assembly, said that despite immense pressure from international powers then prime minister Nawaz Sharif went ahead with the nuclear tests.

However, “political leaders who have dedicated their lives to the development of Pakistan have been imprisoned and non-serious people are allowed to rule the country”, he added.

Other PML-N leaders who addressed the rally included Mir Gohar Khan Mengal, Abdul Rehman Zehri, Naseer Khan Achakzai, Rahim Kakar, Javed Iqbal Awan and Saadullah Tareen.

At a rally in Noshki, leaders from the PTI, Al Fatah Panel and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) addressed the participants on the occasion.

PTI leader Prince Qadir Rakhshani, Lieutenant Col­onel Mohammad Asif, Assi­stant Commissioner Soban Saleem Dashti and JI leader Mohammad Qasim Mengal were some of the speakers.

Jhalawan Awami Panel led by Mir Shafiq Mengal staged a car rally in Khuzdar to mark Yaum-i-Takbeer in which several vehicles flying with Pakistani flags rode through the streets.

A Yaum-i-Takbeer rally led by senior leaders of the Balochistan Awami Party was held in Mastung.

In other parts of the province such as Kalat, Sibi, Nasirabad, Jaffar­abad, Loralai, Dera Bugti, Sui and Pishin, members of civil society and student bodies observed the anniversary in functions, meetings and rallies.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2019