March 16, 2012

BALOCHISTAN: Islamabad may boycott Dushanbe conference

By: Ashraf Javed | February 17, 2012

LAHORE - After the US Congressional hearing on Balochistan, the foreign funded Baloch leaders have stepped up propaganda campaign against the government in an attempt to raise the issue with the United Nations by arranging multiple parleys abroad, it was reliably learnt on Thursday.

Well-informed sources also disclosed to TheNation that angry Islamabad is most likely to pull out of the 5th Regional Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan to be held on March 26-27 in Dushanbe (Tajikistan).

‘Pakistan, in protest, has decided to boycott the 5th Regional Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan to be held next month in Tajikistan like Islamabad did in the Bonn conference’, a senior official in the Foreign Ministry said while referring to United States support for Baloch separatists.

On the other hand, sources revealed that differences have developed between Khan of Kalat and Dr. Wahid Baloch, President of the Baloch Society of North America, who once was Khan’s most trusted man in the US.

Sources said that Dr. Wahid’s recent clash with Khan of Kalat has isolated him due to which he has been facing serious problems. Dr Wahid has shown concern that someone from Islamabad Policy Research Institute has exposed his ‘designs’ by writing an article in the Press.

‘Dr Wahid is annoyed with Khan of Kalat due to his decision of postponement of Baloch Unity Conference. While busy in chat, Mehrab Sarajov (sympathiser of Khan of Kalat) and Dr. Wahid had a hard talk and used abusive language against each other’, a source privy to the development said.

According to sources, the Baloch leaders have intensified their propaganda campaign against Pakistani leadership aboard on the request of their foreign masters.
They said that Munir Mengal is planning to travel to Geneva during March 2012 to raise issue with United Nations.

Similarly, Khan of Kalat is planning to hold ‘Baloch Unity Conference’ in Bangkok (Thailand) in April 2012, which was scheduled in United Kingdom.Sources also pointed out that Pakistan is deeply monitoring the Baloch leaders activities abroad. According to their assessment, the US might be supporting the Baloch people to further their movement.

Sources in the Interior Ministry observed that since the Baloch leaders have stepped up their ‘activities’ aboard to please their foreign donors, the number of attacks against FC, police and civilians have increased manifold in the largest mineral-rich province.

The Baloch separatists also target political workers.In 2011, at least 1,587 persons were killed in 1,476 incidents of violence in Balochistan province, according to official figures.

Out of 30 districts, five including Quetta, Sibi, Dera Bugti, Turbat and Khuzdar have volatile situation. During last three months, four FC posts were attacked in these districts in which several soldiers lost their lives.

In 2011, at least 78 FC personnel were martyred while only in January this year no less than 38 personnel were killed.

Last week, IG Frontier Corps Balochistan, Maj Gen Obaid Khan while talking to reporters highlighted some serious issues related to the province and stressed for collective political efforts alongwith socio economic development to address the current precarious law and order situation in Balochistan province.

He informed that the present situation was result of a political vacuum as present political provincial set up has failed to deliver for the development and welfare of the people.

He also revealed that as many as 20 development projects were initiated in the recent past but almost all of them could not be completed either by lack of political will or dearth of funds.

He also disclosed to the media that several militant groups are operating, which are getting training, weapons, and money from external supporters.

According to the government, no less than Rs 160 billion were allocated for development projects in Balochistan but there was no improvement on the ground.
According to the latest official data, there were only 46 missing persons but a vicious campaign is being launched to distort image of security forces abroad.
Security and political experts said that that executive measures are not enough to flush out insurgency. They suggested the government to invite Baloch nationalist leaders in Islamabad for dialogue.

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