Friday, January 07, 2005

Nationalists don't trust Balochistan committee

ISLAMABAD: Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) has expressed lack of trust in the parliamentary committee on Balochistan and claimed that other Baloch nationalist parties also have strong reservations against the committee.

“We will continue our boycott (from committee proceedings) because the government is not serious about solving the problems Balochistan faces,� Senator Sanaullah Baloch, a BNP-M leader, told Daily Times on Wednesday.

He said the government had not contacted the BNP-N president, Sardar Attaullah Mengal to start a dialogue to end the committee’s boycott. He added that the government had adopted a casual approach to serious matters.

The other component parties of Pakistan Oppressed Nations Movement (PONM) including Awami National Party and Pakhtoonkhawa Milli Awami Party have not yet boycotted the committee’s proceedings.

Baloch said the BNP-M did not want to force anyone to boycott the committee’s meetings, but they would soon do so unless the government genuinely tries to resolve Balochistan’s problems.

The committee on Balochistan was formed some three months ago by former prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain to identify and resolve Balochistan’s problems. “Over the last 90 days, no significant progress has been made by the committee. The committee cannot make any independent and fair recommendations because of the treasury members,� Baloch stated.

He said Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) chief Nawab Akbar Bugti had already called the recommendations by the Balochistan committee a new conspiracy for the people of Balochistan to deal with.

The nationalist leader said that instead of considering PONM’s demand for constitutional rights to the Baloch people, the federal government was offering charity of a few jobs.

He said that save foreign affairs, defence, currency and military communications, the federal government should allow the provinces to deal directly with all other subjects, as envisaged in the 1973 Constitution. The senator stated that PONM asked the government to hand over the responsibilities to the provinces gradually.

The Baloch nationalist parties have expressed strong reservations on the presence of 450 check-posts of the Frontier Constabulary (FC). They also condemned what they considered atrocities by coastguards and armed forces.

Baloch said that his province had been converted into a jail where FC, coastguards and armed forces could do anything they wanted.

Courtesy: Daily Times


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