QUETTA, April 6: Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi has said that reconciliation efforts have begun in the province and the new government will take steps to make them successful.

Talking to newsmen here after a lunch hosted by Mir Asim Kurd for newly elected legislators, he said that stopping military operation and restoring peace and normality in the province would be the new government’s priority.

He said the government’s first task should be to initiate dialogue with dissidents because the use of force over the past five years had not yielded any positive result.

He said a strong government could always reach an accord for truce and peace.

The governor said he would cooperate with the government in its dialogue with the dissidents.

Replying to a question, he said the Baloch people had never surrendered their weapons because it was against their tradition.

Pakistan People’s Party’s candidate for the post of chief minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani said that a process of dialogue for restoring peace had been initiated.

He said he was ready to hold talks with the militants who were waging a struggle in the mountains.

He appealed to the militant groups to come to the negotiating table and help him to solve the problems faced by the people of the province.

“I have not received any response so far from the other side but I am not disappointed and negotiations will begin soon,” he said.

“There will be a ceasefire from both sides,” Nawab Aslam said.

He said the government should declare a ceasefire first.

Replying to a question, Nawab Aslam said he had held talks with Balochistan National Party-M chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal and he would soon contact other leaders.

He said he would try to get all political leaders, including Akhtar Mengal, and workers released and the ‘missing people’ traced. “Sardar Mengal will be released soon,” he said.

Responding to a question, he said he would take all coalition partners along in the formation of a good government in the province. He said the decision about allocation of ministries would also be taken in consultation with all the parties.

He said intelligence agencies were hatching conspiracies to create hurdles in the formation of the government because they did not want a strong government in Balochistan. However, all such conspiracies would be foiled with the help of the people, he said.

Responding to a question, he said a new constitution was needed with basic rights for all nationalities, including the Baloch, in accordance with the spirit of the Pakistan Resolution of 1940.

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