QUETTA, Aug 19: The Balochistan National Party (Mengal) has said that talks with the government can be held if the military operation is stopped, displaced people are rehabilitated, allotments of land to army personnel in coastal areas are cancelled, missing people are traced and political prisoners are released.

The party’s acting president, Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldani, said that the government which claimed to be democratic should have stopped the military action in Dera Bugti and Kohlu the day it assumed power and if it failed to change the establishment’s policies it would lose the confidence of the Baloch people.

He said the BNP was not opposed to holding talks to settle contentious issues politically but the government should immediately halt the military operation and rehabilitate displaced people to gain people’s confidence.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, he criticised the government for giving a guard of honour to Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf on his departure from the presidency and said that the former ruler had killed a large number of Baloch people and he should be arrested and tried.

Dr Jehanzeb said that besides Gen (retd) Musharraf, former governor Owais Ahmed Ghani and former chief minister Jam Yousuf were also responsible for the oppressive policies used against the Baloch people. He said that members of the previous cabinet belonging to the BNP (Awami) and JUI-F were equally responsible for the killings and “all of them should be punished”.

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