Thursday, August 18, 2011

EDITORIAL: Balochistan: false promises

The government is at it again: making promises it will never be able to fulfil when it comes to Balochistan. Apparently, the federal government has ‘authorised’ the provincial government of Balochistan to begin dialogue with all political forces in the province. This is akin to just going through the motions because the provincial government itself confesses to being powerless. On August 14, Prime Minister Gilani said, “The government is in touch with leaders of Balochistan and the effort and desire is that a uniform strategy should be drawn in consultation with the leadership.” Now this is something that we have been hearing for a long time but has the government made any effort to find someone who can reach out to the Baloch leadership is the question that needs to be asked. So far there are no signs on the ground that can point to the government’s ‘plan’ of reaching out to the Baloch leadership. As far as the provincial government is concerned, it has nopower to stop the military operation going on in Balochistan. If the government is serious about negotiating with the Baloch leaders, those in Pakistan and those living in exile, it has to first end the ongoing military operation. Every single day, the Frontier Corps (FC) and our intelligence agencies whisk away Baloch people, torture them and in most cases kill them. Bullet-riddled bodies of the Baloch are found all over the province on any given day. If this is the way things are going to be, no Baloch leader would be willing to talk to the government.
The government cannot keep dishing out packages like the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package while completely ignoring the genocide of the Baloch. The government should also pay attention to what the members of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination said about giving due representation to the people of Balochistan in the oil and gas companies. PML-N’s Javed Hashmi pointed out, “If I were a resident of Balochistan, I would also stand for independence because of successive military operations that pushed the people of the province towards the wall.” Read More:

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