KARACHI: Sardar Ataullah Mengal, former Chief Minister of Baluchistan, said yesterday [May 22] that a “full-fledged Army operation from the ground and air” was going on in the Marri tribal areas of Baluchistan. … [H]e said that the “blockade of vast areas of the Province” had been tightened, and the Militia was engaged in an armed operation against the beleaguered people. Besides … reports reaching from Quetta indicated that the Marri tribal areas have been subjected to “aerial strafing under orders of the Federal Government”.

He appealed to the people of Pakistan to stand up in defence of their compatriots in Baluchistan. Sardar Mengal’s statement said: “As the zero-hour for the convening of the budget session of the Baluchistan Assembly draws near, feverish attempts to save Mr. Akbar Bugti and his illegal Government in the Province … are being made in Quetta and Islamabad.” — Staff Reporter

[Meanwhile, as reported by news agencies from Rawalpindi,] a spokesman of the Federal Government … denied as fictitious the charges of Khan Wali Khan, NAP chief, and Sardar Ataullah Mengal … that “serious clashes had taken place in Baluchistan” and that the local population had been subjected to “aerial strafing”.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2023

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