September 30, 2011

Baloch nationalists boycotted Pakistan sponsored All Parties Conference (APC)

Balochistan boycott the All Party Conference (APC).

Friday, September 30, 2011

QUETTA: All major Baloch nationalist parties including Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) and the National Party (NP) on Thursday boycotted the All Parties Conference (APC) convened by Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on Pak-US relations.

“How can we attend the APC when Baloch people are facing the wrath of the government,” he said, adding that on the one hand the rulers had launched the military operation and on the other hand they were inviting “us to sit with those elements involved in the excesses against Baloch people”. Said Akhtar Mengal, the top Baloch Nationalist leader from exile in Dubai.

The leadership of these both parties believes that the government should have convened the APC on the Balochistan issue where target killings, sectarian violence and kidnappings for ransom have become a routine matter. They say the rulers are oblivious to the gravity of the situation in the province.

“If the PPP government does not mend its ways and attitude towards Balochistan then the NP may not even sit on the opposition benches,” Senator Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, central President of NP, said at a news conference.

The NP decided not to participate in the APC mainly because of the Balochistan situation, he said. He went on to say that the present government had not taken the issue of Balochistan seriously. He said the party had proposed to the president and prime minister to convene an APC on target killings, sectarian violence, kidnappings for ransom and recovery of decomposed bodies from various parts of the province, but to no avail. We took part in the movement for restoration of democracy and ousted Pervez Musharraf, he said.

The All Parties Conference (APC) held in Islamabad will yield no fruitful result because “close and friendly” relations exist between the establishments in Pakistan and the United States, Dr Malik added.

To a query, he said the way resolutions adopted in the joint session in the past were treated, there was little hope things would happen differently with this APC. The nationalist politician said that the US and Pakistani establishments were very close to each other, which is why the APC would yield no results. However, he said if the US attacked Balochistan and Waziristan, NP would surely condemn it. He asked the government to clear its policy towards the US.

‘Four or five nationalists being killed in Balochistan daily’

Shahid Husain

Friday, September 30, 2011

The security situation in the neighbouring province of Balochistan is turning from bad to worse as between four and five nationalists are allegedly being killed by security forces on a daily basis in a province where the inhabitants are poverty-stricken, yet the land is rich in natural as well as mineral resources.

However, the province, which has an important strategic location, has seen troubled times in the recent past as a number of nationalists fighting for the rights of the deprived Baloch people have fallen victim to targeted attacks. Among them was National party (NP) leader Dr Lal Buksh who was shot dead in the Turbat town. Balochistan National Party (M) leader Advocate Abdus Salam was also killed in Khuzdar on Wednesday.

Sources claimed that more than 250 people had been killed in Balochistan over the last four or five months. Most of those activists that were targeted belong to the NP, BNP (M) and the Baloch Students Organisation (Azad), they added.

“The army rules the roost in Balochistan and the provincial government has no say,” said the National Party’s Central General Secretary Tahir Bizenjo while talking to The News from Islamabad.

Bizenjo said the government of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani promised to resolve the crisis in Balochistan on a number of occasions and parliamentary committees were formed for this purpose. However, he added that nothing has come out of the committees or the promises.

“Prime Minister Gilani claims there are no political prisoners in Balochistan, but who are these Ă«missing people?” Bizenjo questioned. The NP General Secretary pointed out that one of the most acute problems faced by the province is the disappearance of people.

“Although people go missing from whole country, the majority of them disappearances are from Balochistan,” he said, adding that the party fully endorses the findings of a Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) report on Balochistan

The report, which was released in 2009, states that “Violations of human rights in Balochistan are widespread and harrowing. Regrettably, the state has not addressed these complaints and the media, either under pressure or on account of its own failings, has been unable to probe and report the dreadful reality on the ground.”

“The most hair-raising are the continuing incidents of cases of enforced disappearances. In addition to a large number of cases already taken up by HRCP, the Commission documented several new cases during this mission in Balochistan,” the report further stated.


Pak security forces should be stripped of powers in
Balochistan: Asma Jehangir

Quetta, Sep.28 : Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association President Asma Jehangir has challenged the authority of security forces in Balochistan, saying the power of these forces should be stripped in the best interest of the national integrity and solidarity.

Addressing the Balochistan High Court Bar members on Tuesday, Jehangir referred to the dominating role of the security forces in the province, which she said were undermining the authority of the elected government.

She said that Balochistan’s stability was at stake due to its strategic location, which could easily be exploited by the international forces.

“Divisions have been created among the people as sectarian target killings, recovery of mutilated bodies, mostly of the missing persons, and target killing of Punjabi-speaking people are frequently taking place,” the Daily Times quoted her, as saying.

“I just want to remind that the people living in Rawalpindi and Islamabad are not the only Pakistanis but the people of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are also Pakistanis,” she added.

They should be treated as Pakistanis also, she told her audience.

She stressed that the problem of Balochistan be treated on priority basis otherwise this will be an ideal land for international forces to play their dirty tricks.


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