'Peace will not prevail without military withdrawal'

Published: December 30, 2011

The condit­ions in the provin­ce bear a resemb­lance to those in Bangla­desh, say JI leader­s. PHOTO: NNI

KARACHI: Because it fears that Balochistan is on the brink of no return, the Jamaat-e-Islami has called for “an end to the unannounced military operation and the role of the [intelligence] agencies in the province.”

The party has also asked for military leaders, including former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, to be held accountable in a court of law for the human rights violations in Balochistan.

The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Asadullah Bhutto and its leaders in Balochistan and Sindh, Abdul Mateen Akhunzada and Mohammad Hussain Mehanti, met with veteran Baloch leader, Sardar Ataullah Mengal, at the latter’s residence on Thursday. When asked if the situation in Balochistan was bad, Akhunzada darkly remarked, “It is not just bad, it has gone far beyond that.”

The “makruh and condemnable role” of security agencies operating in Balochistan is not the way to developing an understanding, Akhunzada told the journalists present. JI believes that the number of enforced disappearances and the bullet riddled bodies being found are signs of how Balochistan has become reminiscent of the condition in Bangladesh prior to its independence in 1971.

The party and Mengal also spoke about the targeted killings of Punjabi settlers in the province.

Mengal reiterated that the “protectors of the country” – the Pakistan Army – has become an army for Punjab only.

Mengal is reported to have said that, “If a Punjabi is killed, dozens of Baloch youth are taken away by the agencies illegally. People wait for years to hear about their whereabouts and then receive the bullet-riddled bodies of their loved ones. How can there not be a reaction?” He also questioned why the military does not react in a similar manner when people are killed in Karachi.

Despite JI’s call and Mengal’s warnings about the condition in Balochistan, no one sees a way out until the military withdraws from Balochistan. Mengal told JI that there was not a “single person in Pakistan who could gain the trust of the Baloch”.

The leaders agreed that those responsible for targeted killings must be dealt with – but in a legal manner.

Mehanti also questioned the Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, for not fulfilling his promise to withdraw troops from Balochistan. JI leaders also blamed the current Pakistan Peoples Party government for having wasted the last four years instead of trying to reverse the situation that Musharraf left Balochistan in.

The JI leaders said there were “no prospects for progress” in the province and highlighted the injustices, deplorable economic conditions and lack of resources given to Balochistan. JI also asked the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take suo motu notice of the situation in Balochistan, similar to how it acted on the target killings in Karachi earlier this year.

Mehanti said his party appreciated the fact that Sharif had visited Mengal to discuss the matter and that there was a need to unite to prevent a ‘catastrophe like 1971’.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • naeem
    Dec 30, 2011 - 8:19AM

    good effort by JI

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  • Imran
    Dec 30, 2011 - 11:05AM

    JI = Fail

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  • dv sikka
    Dec 30, 2011 - 11:59AM

    Pakistan wants the Indian portion of Kashmir to become part of Pakistan. What would be the condition of Kashmiris. What lessons has Pakistan learnt after losing Bangladesh.Recommend

  • Dec 30, 2011 - 2:10PM

    They are right for a change

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  • Anil
    Dec 30, 2011 - 2:23PM

    @dv sikka:
    none of your business, be concerned about India not Pak

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  • Abdul Rahman
    Dec 30, 2011 - 4:32PM

    JI is the only party in Pakistan that is genuinely and sincerely concerned about the country and its people. Reason: It is the only party that is not hereditary, elite and democratic (does any other party have elections in Pakistan).Recommend

  • MarkH
    Dec 30, 2011 - 5:01PM

    JI should never be consulted if the result you want is something peaceful. Their version of peace results in alienating everyone in the world under the delusion of having divine backing making it only a matter of time.
    Your peace is another man’s shutting his junk in a car door.

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  • dv sikka
    Dec 30, 2011 - 5:07PM

    Anil, for me India and Pakistan are same. I want to see both peaceful and prosperous.I am not comfortable with the policies of both these. People are the sufferers, why should they suffer.

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  • Falcon
    Dec 30, 2011 - 7:45PM

    I think it is good that JI is raising this issue. We need all power hubs such as judiciary, media, religious clergy, political parties, and universities to take up this issue so that we can stop the suppression of innocent Baloch people as soon as possible.

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  • nirode mohanty
    Dec 30, 2011 - 9:55PM

    .Pakistani politicians and political parties seek to support Kashmiri people in their desire for self-government with diplomatic and other help, while denying dignity, justice and human rights to Baluchistan people who have been exploited for sixty years.
    Let Baluchis decide their future; they are also freedom fighters though General Musharraf may not agree.

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