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Mengal spells out terms for contesting elections

Published Apr 08, 2013 02:03am

President Balochistan National Party Sardar Akthar Mengal addressing a public meeting at hockey ground. — Photo by APP

QUETTA: Sardar Akhtar Mengal, chief of the Balochistan National Party-M (BNP-M), has called for an end to the military operation, release of all Baloch political prisoners and abolition of alleged death squads before the general elections.

Speaking at a public meeting at the Hockey Ground here on Sunday, he warned that the people of Balochistan could take their “own decision” if the demands were not accepted.

In spite of heavy rain, a large number of people attended Mr Mengal’s first public meeting here in four years. The Baloch nationalist returned to the country recently.

Hundreds of supporters were present at the airport to welcome him on his arrival from Karachi. He was taken to the ground at the head of a big procession.

“The BNP-M has decided to participate in the general elections after consulting all party leaders and activists for the sake of peace and protection of the rights of Balochistan’s oppressed people,” he said.

However, he added, the party would not launch its election campaign until its demands for an end to the military operation, release of Baloch political prisoners and abolition of ‘death squads’ were accepted.

Mr Mengal advised the rulers to take major steps to address the grievances of the Baloch before “it is too late”.

He said the BNP-M’s executive committee had decided to participate in the elections, but the decision could be reviewed if things did not improve.

“People in other provinces are busy filing nomination papers, but in this province we are offering Fateha with relatives of those whose mutilated bodies are found every now and then.”

Mr Mengal said mutilated bodies were being dumped in Wadh, Khuzdar and Turbat. “How can the Baloch people take part in elections in such a situation,” he wondered.

He said improvement of the situation in the province depended on end to interference by the intelligence agencies and dumping of mutilated bodies, recovery of missing persons and disbanding of death squads.

He said he would not oppose trial of people involved in unlawful activities, but they should be brought to courts.

“No power has a right to eliminate people through death squads.”

The BNP-M chief criticised the previous government for not having taken steps to stop military operation and dumping of bodies.

He said the BNP-M was a democratic party that devised its policies freely without any pressure or dictation from outside forces and “we will not accept directives either from the state or non-state actors”.

Every political group had a right to decide its course of action and “we believe in coexistence and tolerating each other’s point of view”, he added.

In a veiled reference to threats by Baloch militants, he said independence could not be achieved through infighting.

“When we do not oppose the struggle of others, why others are opposing our decisions,” he asked, and added that interference in each other’s affairs would affect the “struggle to protect the coast and resources of Balochistan”.

Mr Mengal said it was a matter of satisfaction that over the past six decades usurpers had failed to suppress the Baloch nationalist forces.

He alleged that the Baloch people were being deceived in the name of Islam and the ‘ideology of Pakistan’.

Comments (8) Closed

Mohammad Saleem
Apr 08, 2013 02:25am
Evidently, Baluchistan is a lost cause, and that, the only sensible thing is to go along with the legitimate aspirations of the the Baloch people, and recognize their inalienable right to self-determination-- a right enshrined in the UN Carter, which is a multilateral treaty binding on all member states of the world body, including Pakistan.
Mohammad Farooq
Apr 08, 2013 02:38am
Agree with Mr.Akhtar Mengal 100% as these issues must be dealt with full energy and sincerity. Pakistan Zindabad.
Apr 08, 2013 03:24am
He who incites people of a province of Pakistan to separate from Pakistan is a traitor and must be dealt with by law enforcement agencies of Pakistan as well as military.
Syed M Ahmed
Apr 08, 2013 04:36am
Heard similar things in 1969, 1970 and early 1971 in East Pakistan which were totally unheeded by the then Establishment and the result was the loss of half the country. If it goes unheeded this time, the result is likely going to be the same.
Apr 08, 2013 06:21am
Nice Posting Carry on..
Apr 08, 2013 08:55am
I fully agree with Sardar Akhtar Mengal. No doubt, people of Balochistan have probably been the worst sufferers at the hands of successive regimes, both military and civilians and both at federal and provincial levels, but I must add that entire populace of the country has been deceived in the name of 'Islam', 'Ideology of Pakistan' and 'Larger National Interests'.
Apr 08, 2013 09:16am
I am afraid I cannot agree with Mr.Mustafa. The successive governments, both military and civil, and the 'establishment' as well as 'Clergy' have been doing that for decades and we see the outcome of that. approach. Not only the people of Balochistan but, indeed, of the entire country have been deceived in the name of 'Islam', 'Ideology of Pakistan', 'Larger National Interests', and a number of other things for far too long. Use of force has proved to be not an answer. The real solution is not to let any one usurp the the other's rights and that every one must be made aware of one's obligations. That is where the salvation lies.
Apr 08, 2013 03:24pm

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