ISLAMABAD, Aug 25: Senators from Balochistan on Monday warned the government that the country would disintegrate if immediate steps were not taken to stop the military operation and air strikes in the province and if efforts were not made to resolve the issue through dialogue.

At the outset of the Senate proceedings, acting Chairman Mir Jan Muhammad Jamali told the house that he had received a notice from four senators for a discussion on the situation in Balochistan before other business was taken up.

Kamran Murtaza of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal said: “Time is fast approaching when we will no more remain part of your house nor you will be part of us”.

He alleged that the provincial government was not consulted about an operation going in Dera Bugti, Naseerabad, Murri area and Turbat for three-four days. He said that scores of innocent people had been killed.

He warned that the situation was fast turning like that in former East Pakistan which was forced to secede despite being the majority province. Now a smaller province will do the same if pushed to the wall.

Sardar Israrullah Zehri of the National Party said that Balochistan was being governed by the provincial government as well as by the militia and innocent people were being targeted with helicopter gunships.

Dr Abdul Malik said there was no hope for finding hundreds of missing Baloch people because the government did not appear to be in control of things.

Prof Khurshid Ahmed of Jamaat-i-Islami said there was no change in the policies which had been pursued by Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf and George W. Bush. He said the use of excessive state force would only weaken the federation.

Haji Muhammad Adeel of Awami National Party suggested formation of a special committee to find out whether the ongoing operation in Balochistan had been launched on the orders of the government or some invisible hands were calling the shots.

Ms Parigul Agha said she would like to know why had Balochistan been singled out for coercive actions and what had the new government done to undo this situation.

Begum Rehana Yahya said the Baloch people had been forced to take up arms.

Raza Rabbani of the Pakistan People’s Party assured the house that the government could not even think of continuing the use of force in Balochistan.

He said the government needed some time to change the Balochistan policy.

The Senate was also informed that a meeting on the issue would be held on August 29 in Quetta in which parliamentarians would also be invited.

Hafiz Abdur Rashid of MMA from the Bajaur Agency condemned the operation in his area. He said that about 350,000 people had left their homes.

He termed the shelling by air force planes and helicopter gunships the worst form of barbarianism.

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