NAWABSHAH: Caretaker Balochistan Chief Minister Ali Mardan Khan Domki has said that some of the demands raised by Baloch protesters are genuine but the manner in which they are staging the protest in Islamabad is not right.

He told journalists at a reception given in his honour by Pakistan Peoples Party leader Nazeer Ahmed Rahu in Shahmeer Rahu village near Sakrand town on Thursday that the issue of missing persons concerned Islamabad and it was looking into it.

He said that governments sometimes committed mistakes and then provided redressal as well. “We are serious about the issue of Balach Khan and are trying to find an amicable solution to ongoing Baloch women’s protest. An FIR had also lodged on a complaint lodged by Baloch daughters, he said.

He said that a committee had already been constituted which was looking into the missing persons’ issue and seeking answers to related queries.

He outright rejected the number of 70,000 missing persons and said that the figures the protesters quoted hovered around 10,000 to 12,000 but these were also wrong as the real number came to around 5,000 to 6,000 only out of which 450 had already been released and the rest were being released. A total of 160 persons had been released and the remaining 34 would be released soon, he said.

About manhandling of protesters by police, he said that when there were protests, some actions had to be taken to end the agitation and later the protesters were also released.

He was confident general elections would be held on Feb 8 and claimed that all political parties were being treated equally without any bias.

Earlier, the host Nazeer Ahmed Rahu welcomed the caretaker chief minister and said that despite all difficulties and police cases they had faced in their own PPP government, they were very much in the party and would remain in the party.

Former MNA Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah, Sardar Mushtaq Ahmed Rahu, Sardar Abdul Sattar Keerio, ex-MPA Ghulam Qadir Chandio, Javed Ahmed Rahu and others were also present.

Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2023

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