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No military operation going on in Balochistan: Kaira

September 29, 2012


Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira. — Photo by AFP

LALAMUSA: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira on Saturday said that there was no military operation going on in Balochistan and if someone had any proof about that he should share the same with the government, media and court.

“We respect the real political leadership of Balochistan and welcome them back home,” said Kaira while speaking with media representatives.

He said that free, fair and transparent elections were the only solution of the Balochistan issue. The Baloch political leadership should take part in the next general elections, which are not far away and “whatever decision the people of Balochistan will make in the polls, will be acceptable to all,” he added.

The information minister said that all the political parties have confidence in the Election Commission of Pakistan and the Baloch leaders should share the suggestions with the commission, if any, for free and fair elections.

Kaira said that soon after coming to power, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government apologized to the people of Balochistan for the injustices meted out to them during the past regime. “Though it was not a solution of their problems, but at least we took a step to console them”, he noted.

He said that the PPP government took several measures to provide relief to the people of Balochistan.

“We increased their share in the NFC award from Rs 40 billion to Rs. 170 billion, started Aghaz-e-Huqooq Balochistan Package and enhanced job quota for the Baloch youth,” he added.

Kaira said that injustices had also been done with the PPP but it remained in the system and did not separate itself from the federation. He said Sardar Akhtar Mengal's meetings with the leadership of other political parties was a good sign, but those should not be used for political point scoring.

He said that the Pakistan Army had given assurance in the Supreme Court that there was no operation going on in Balochistan and also submitted an affidavit in this regard. If there is still any mistrust in this regard, that will be removed by the measures taken by the government, he added.

Regarding the issue of missing persons, he quoted the chief justice of Pakistan as saying that he would hold hearing in this regard on case to case basis, which was appreciable.

He pointed out that the number of missing persons was actually less than that reported in the media, which even transpired from the proceedings of the Supreme Court on the issue.

If the Baloch leaders have any proofs about the missing persons they should present the same before the commission or the court. Akhtar Mengal's role remained very important in the country's politics and he should play that role again, he added.