ISLAMABAD, Sept 28: Sardar Akhtar Mengal, the chief of Balochistan National Party, has threatened that Balochistan and Pakistan will not get along if the six-point charter presented by him on Thursday is ignored.
Talking to reporters after meeting PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif at the Balochistan House here on Friday, he said his six points must be considered like those of Bengali nationalist leader Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman.
Sheikh Mujib’s ‘six points’ eventually led to break-up of Pakistan and emergence of Bangladesh on the world map.
“It is imperative (for the government) to take my six-point plan seriously and implement it, or to part ways. Instead of shedding each other’s blood, it will be more appropriate to say goodbye in a cordial way,” Akhtar Mengal said, adding that his plan should not be considered different and less important than the six points of Sheikh Mujib.
He said there was nothing against Pakistan or the Constitution in his charter, adding that the situation in Balochistan was fast moving towards a point of no return. “Baloch people will not talk to you, if the six-point plan is not implemented.” Akhtar Mengal had presented his plan before a Supreme Court bench hearing a petition on the law and order situation and human rights violations in Balochistan. It called for an end to all covert and overt military operations in the province, production of all missing persons before a court of law, disbanding of all proxy death squads, allowing Baloch political parties to function and resume their political activities without any interference from intelligence agencies and bringing to book those responsible for torture, killings and dumping of bodies.
He said it was imperative for the powers which had been ruling the country for over 65 years to start considering the masses as the real rulers to improve the situation in Balochistan. He was of the opinion that mere lip-service would not work and called for taking practical steps for a reconciliation process. The BNP chief regretted that certain forces in Pakistan considered themselves to be above the Constitution.
“They don’t consider Baloch people as citizens of Pakistan. Had they considered us Pakistanis they wouldn’t have engraved the slogans like ‘long live Pakistan’ on the bodies of Baloch people, drilled their bodies and dumped them in jungles for wild animals.”
He said the Baloch people should be taken on board by holding their hands and not by dragging their feet.
Speaking on the occasion, Nawaz Sharif said country’s survival was linked to the rule of law and called for bringing to book the killers of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti.
He said steps should be taken on an emergency basis to remove the sense of deprivation among the people of Balochistan.
Dictators have ruined the country and they must be taken to task. The PML-N chief said flawed policies had led to the present state of affairs in Balochistan. “Serious efforts must be made to restore peace in the restive province and enforced disappearances should be brought to an end forthwith.”
Mr Sharif said the circumstances which forced Mr Mengal to express such feelings must be looked into. He said the father of Akhtar Mengal had played an important role in the creation of Pakistan and giving the nation the 1973 Constitution.
Referring to the fall of Dhaka, he said mistakes committed in the past must not be repeated.
Earlier during their hour-long meeting, the two leaders pledged to continue the struggle against enforced disappearances and for recovery of the missing persons.
Mr Sharif called for a joint strategy by political forces to heal the wounds of Baloch people. Mr Sharif was accompanied in the meeting by Senator Pervez Rasheed and Akhtar Mengal by Sanaullah Baloch, Sardar Rauf Mengal and Aktar Lango.
The PML-N chief said Sheikh Mujib was sincere towards Pakistan and he had presented his six points to end injustices. The demands were not met and led to the break-up of Pakistan, he said.
GOVT’S REACTION: Interior Minister Rehman Malik said it was inappropriate to equate the six points of Akhtar Mengal with those of Sheikh Mujib because the latter was still disliked in Pakistan.
Talking to reporters, he said the government had withdrawn all cases against Akhtar Mengal and his colleagues and removed their names from the exit control list. He expressed the hope that Akhtar Mengal would avoid giving statements against Pakistan.
Mr Malik urged the army and law-enforcement and intelligence agencies not to take the Balochistan problem to the point of no return. He said the government was taking a number of steps to address the grievances of Baloch people.