THE six-point demands given by Sardar Akhtar Mengal in the Supreme Court to resolve the Balochistan issue are quite genuine.

There is not a single point that is debatable and, hence, immediate action should be taken to end this severe in order to avert an East Pakistan-like situation. It’s really unfortunate that such a crisis is emerging in a democratic government that is about to complete its tenure of five years for the first time in the history of Pakistan. No effort has been made to resolve the Balochistan issue.

AMAN AHMAD     Karachi

Grievances

THE problems in Balochistan and Fata are purely socioeconomic and political and these should be addressed with remedies such as building schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, industries and creating employment opportunities for the local people in their own areas.

They should also be given a chance to be ruled by themselves. They have the first right to use their local resources for themselves, then to be distributed in other parts of the country.

The issues are absolutely genuine and can be tackled as well rather than using force against people in both parts of the country, otherwise everything will be ruined if the use of force continues. Each and every kind of stakeholder should be involved in the consultation process before addressing these issues.

I was happy to read that the Supreme Court is trying its best to identify and address the issues with long-lasting grievances of the people of Balochistan.

The arrival of people like Akhtar Jan Mengal and Sanaullah Baloch in the Supreme Court is really a sign of hope for a positive tomorrow.

Why have we forced this son of the soil to the limit that they would come out and say we don’t want Pakistan? The people of Balochistan and Fata are the most deprived people of our country. Even today when things are really bad, give them a chance and they will gradually come into the fold of Pakistan.

Honestly speaking, the Pakhtun and the Baloch are very proud people, treat them with dignity and they will give their life for you, but treat them badly and they will never surrender. All they have been asking for so long are rightfully theirs, to begin with, their resources.

I pray that the people in the right quarters are listening to the cries of the Pashtun and the Baloch people.

WAQAS AHMED KHAN     London

Not too late

THIS is apropos of the report, ‘Mengal links his six points to those of Mujib’ (Sept 29). The threat by the chief of Balochistan National Party is serious because successive governments have not done justice to the people of Balochistan and have also failed to provide good governance in the province of Balochistan.

Mr Mengal has threatened that Balochistan and Pakistan will not get along if the six-point charter presented by him is ignored. The chief of BNP has now bluntly warned that his six points must be considered like those of Bengali nationalist leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It may be recalled that Sheikh Mujib’s ‘six points’ eventually led to a break-up of Pakistan and the emergence of Bangladesh on the world map.

It is sad that the situation in Balochistan has become so grave due to injustice and lack of good governance that Baloch political leaders have now started threatening the Pakistani government so openly.

It is pertinent to note that in 1970 when the military action was taken in former East Pakistan to suppress Bengalis and crush Mukti Bahinis, then the military regime of Field Marshal Ayub Khan and then Gen Yahya Khan was blamed and still cursed.

But in the aftermath of the military dictatorship of Gen Pervez Musharraf when the so-called democracy prevails, why are the Baloch and their political leaders’ genuine demands not accepted?

Balochistan is one of the four pillars of Pakistan and if it is allowed to break away, the remaining three pillars — Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa — will not able to bear the weight.

It is not too late. We can still keep the Pakistani flag flying in Balochistan provided our present democratic government and political leadership are sincere with Balochistan and in a broader term sincere with Pakistan.

SQN LDR (Rtd) S. AUSAF HUSAIN Karachi

Fair election

Dawn’s interview and the report on the Supreme Court hearing (Sept 30) have been highly illuminating about Sardar Akhtar Mengal’s point of view.

As regards the analogy he draws with the Awami League’s six points, he should consider the following. Shaikh Mujibur Rehman spoke about the six points of the Awami League for a long time and there was a near unanimous endorsement from the people of ‘East Pakistan’.

He then had moral, de facto and de jure authority. One hopes Sardar Mengal would contest the next elections to validate his point of view.

One also hopes he stops talking of Pakistan versus Balochistan.

Mujib did not do that until the end when he was denied the election results. The eventual fate of Mujib and Bhutto for that matter is just recent history which we would all do well to remember.

The state must guarantee free and fair elections which can serve as a referendum in Balochistan. If it’s what they want; so be it.

Dr A. AHMED Karachi

Opinion

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