Supporters of a Baloch National Movement carry posters of their leader as they march on a road during a rally. – AP Photo (File)

QUETTA: Political leaders here have underlined the need for formulating a new social contract to resolve the Balochistan problem.

Speaking at a seminar, they said the 18th Amendment was a good step towards resolving the issues faced by smaller provinces but it fell short in fulfilling the aspirations of the people of Balochistan.

At the seminar organised by Centre for Research and Security Studies and Association for Integrated Development Balochistan, they said all stakeholders needed to hold talks for evolving a new social contract to resolve issues of the smaller provinces.

Senior leaders of Baloch and Pakhtun nationalist parties and representatives of civil society participated in the seminar.

Dr Ishaq Baloch of NP termed the 18th Amendment a great step but said it should have taken much earlier. “More measures are needed to implement the constitution in letter and spirit for resolving issues,” he said, adding that no issue could be resolved until the 18the Amendment was enforced completely.

He stressed the need for removing the sense of deprivation in the people of Balochistan and for easing the prevailing unrest in the province. The government should work for the recovery of missing persons, he added.

Aurangzaib Kasi of ANP said that the 18th Amendment did not provide complete solution to Balochistan’s problems, adding that only transfer of some federal ministries’ powers to provinces could not resolve all issues.

He highlighted the problems being faced by Balochistan and said military and civil establishment was responsible for the situation in the province. He called for holding talks with Baloch leadership and implementing the 18th Amendment without any delay.Advocate Agha Hasan of BNP-Mengal said Balochistan had very important geo-political position.

He said the people of the province were being victimised just for seeking control on their own resources. He said his party would continue struggle for the right of self-determination.

Mohammad Usman Kakar of PkMAP said that provincial autonomy and genuine democracy was the need of hour. He accused the committee for the 18th Amendment for not including all recommendations and proposals presented by political parties.

Senior journalist Sadiq Baloch said the 18th Amendment was a better step in given circumstances. He said military operations and discriminatory attitude of establishment were responsible for situation in Balochistan, adding that the issue should be resolved through negotiation.

Islamabad-based journalist Imtiaz Gul said the leadership of Balochistan was responsible for situation in the province. He termed the 18th Amendment a better step.