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LAHORE, March 5: Speakers at a seminar have stressed the need for seeking a political solution to the crisis-like situation in Balochistan which has become a high sensitive area of the country.

Parliament and the media should focus on the issues creating feelings of alternation and deprivation among the people of Balochistan. The killers of Nawab Akbar Bugti should be brought to justice in order to heal the wounds inflicted on the soul of the young Baloch generation, said speakers at the seminar on 'disturbing conditions at Balochistan,' arranged by Pina on Saturday.

Lt-Gen Khalid Lateef Mughal (retired) said, in his presidential remarks, all-out efforts should be made to find a political solution while at the same time elements bent upon destabilising Balochistan must be exposed and defeated with national unity.

“The insurgents are only in the range of 3,000 or so and being supplied finances and equipment by the US, Israel and India. Their agents are responsible for killing and disfiguring the dead bodies of citizens. Armed forces never disfigure bodies even of the enemy,” he said.

He said the US had a strategic interest in Afghanistan and Balochistan as the oil from Caspian Sea could only be transmitted through the corridors of Afghanistan and Balochistan. Gwadar Port has been of crucial importance for the Western powers which have designs to contain China's influence in Pakistan. He said Pakistan should stop the supplies to Nato forces so that they had no other option except to withdraw from Afghanistan and cease the war on terror in Pakistan.

Professor of Political Science Amanullah Shadezai from Balochistan said the critical conditions prevailing in his province required utmost attention on the part of national leadership.

Slogans against Pakistan were being raised by angry and instigated youth and target killings have become the order of the day. The Baloch Liberation Army and other violent groups were challenging the writ of the state with the help of some foreign powers. The situation worsened after the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti who was a great supporter of the federation and played a vital role in persuading Shahi Jirga to vote for Pakistan in 1947.

Prof Shadezai said disfiguring the dead bodies was provoking the population and turning it against Pakistan. He advised that all political forces should collectively strive to fight this phenomenon.

He proposed that the military leadership should negotiate with the leadership which once had been in the mainstream and had been antagonised due to mishandling by the authorities concerned. He demanded that killers of Nawab Bugti be brought to justice and jobs in thousands be provided, Balochistan Package be earnestly implemented and provincial autonomy be transferred according to the 18th Amendment.

He was of the view that projecting the real life and focusing on the aspirations of the people of Balochistan by electronic media would be a great step forward to national integration.

Political leader Qayyum Nizami said the people of Punjab had heart-felt love for their brethren in Balochistan and keen desire to interact with their leaders. He recommended that exchange of delegations would certainly remove misgivings and strengthen the bonds better understanding among the country men.

Media person Sajid Mir suggested that we should investigate the factors which forced the mainstream Baloch leadership to drift down to violent reactions. He said Baloch youth had been studying and had good social relations with all segments of society in Karachi. He emphasised that the aspirations of the people of Balochistan should be properly respected and projected in the media and should be reflected in national policy formulations.

Defence analyst Col ZI Farrukh (retired) said Makran Belt should be treated with great care and national integration should be given priority. He hoped that army efforts to open technical institutions and initiate development projects there would yield good results in integrating the province.

Anwar Husain Mujahid said he had been working in Balochistan as an engineer and found the province badly lacking in physical infrastructure and basic necessities of life.

He supported the idea that people should be given full political and financial power and the capacity building programme be undertaken at a great speed.

Pina Secretary-General Altaf Hasan Qureshee said Gen Pervez Musharraf badly damaged the cause of Balochistan and was the biggest obstacle in implementation of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on Balochistan.