Balochistan APC: PML-N asks govt to jump through hoops

Published: February 23, 2012

As government steps up efforts to bring on board as many leaders as it can for an all-parties conference on Balochistan, key opposition party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has set two conditions for attendance.

LAHORE: 

The government’s efforts to arrange a national huddle on Balochistan are fast-failing.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has rolled out two “non-negotiable” conditions for ensuring his party’s participation in an All Parties Conference (APC) on Balochistan – and near-impossible ones at that.

One: Arrest Nawab Akbar Bugti’s killers. Two: Recover all missing persons.

Called by the government following a blowout of violence in Balochistan and the raising of the issue in Washington, the APC already faces an uncertain future given widespread apprehensions and limited chances of participation by disgruntled Baloch leaders. In fact, the prime minister on Tuesday constituted a 13-member committee to contact the country’s political leadership in efforts to ensure participation.

Given that the idea was effectively theirs to begin with, the PML-N is ready to participate – but has increased the stakes.

Nawaz Sharif made the demand before leaving for Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah.

According to a party statement: “The APC would be useless, unless Bugti’s killers are arrested and the Baloch missing persons are recovered”.

“Our party will participate in the conference if the government solves these two issues,” Sharif asserted.

According to well-placed sources within the party, Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, along with other senior leaders of the party, held a meeting with Sharif in which they decided to not participate in the moot, and decided rather to highlight Baloch grievances vociferously inside and outside Parliament themselves.

Setting precedence for an evolving party manifesto before the new general elections, the PML-N, on one hand, moved a resolution in National Assembly condemning the US congressional resolution; and on the other, Sharif  himself joined the camp of missing persons located in Islamabad and demanded their safe recovery.

According to a party think-tank, a PML-N senior leader hailing from Balochistan understands that the APC on Balochistan will be “waste of time and useless since both the plaintiffs (the separatists) and the defendants (the Pakistan Army) would be absent from such a gathering”.

A few members of the party think-tank said that PML-N’s leadership is convinced that the only feasible solution of the Balochistan issue will be to engage with the “people who are on the mountains” and outside the country.

Meanwhile, prominent Baloch leaders including Shahzain Bugti, Hasil Bizenjo, Akhtar Mengal and others have already refused to participate in the APC saying that time for such conferences had lapsed.

A well-placed PML-N office bearer in the centre told The Express Tribune that his party had not paid much heed to such issues in the past but now, for the first time, PML-N’s leadership has decided to support the stance of the Baloch leaders.

He added that the decision of boycotting the APC is hinting towards changing party paradigms.

PML-N’s senior leader from Balochsitna MNA Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasir while talking to The Express Tribune said that the two demands put forward by Sharif were in fact genuine demands of the Baloch nation.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2012.

Reader Comments (12)

  • blithe
    Feb 23, 2012 - 5:37AM

    i think it is a well thought out and sagacious move by pml n

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  • Amir
    Feb 23, 2012 - 6:13AM

    Dear readers, Nawab Akbar Bugti’s was not killed but he committed suicide inside the cave where he was hiding. Army sent two officers inside to talk. He instead fired rocket and both killed. As a result of explossion the cave collaped and Bughti got killed.

    These leaders are misguiding the nation by hiding the truth. Dont beleive them

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  • skm
    Feb 23, 2012 - 6:21AM

    yes these demands should me made by every political party in Pakistan.

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  • Sultan Mehmood
    Feb 23, 2012 - 7:17AM

    PML N is the only REAL party in favor of Pakistan!

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  • dv sikka
    Feb 23, 2012 - 7:37AM

    It is a question of reconciliation with people of Balochistan. It is a question of what they want so that they stop asking for a secession from Pakistan. There is a need of give and take. It is better to concede a bit so that the differences are amicably settled. Pakistan lost East pakistan because of something similar happening there. Address the needs and aspirations of Balochis. Let the feel that they are Pakistanis first.

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  • ustaad
    Feb 23, 2012 - 8:20AM

    There is no point in holding an APC if these conditions are not met. NS is 100% right. Packages and aid wont console balochs, trailing their killers would and thats where we should start from.

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  • Kazmis
    Feb 23, 2012 - 9:25AM

    At this time of Baluchistan crisis, PML-N is playing same old tactics what was played by so many politician at the time of separation of East Pakistan, not to attend the meeting. PML-N knows it is a big crisis and Foreign forces will implement their Baluchistan agenda, so it is better to be absent from APC on some pre-conditions.

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  • gp65
    Feb 23, 2012 - 9:38AM

    The headline is misleading. It implies that Nawaz’s demands are unreasonable. Yet if these 2 things are not done, any APC would just be a sham and not serve the intended purpose i.e. prove to the Baloch that Pakistan has realized its mistakes and is sincere in trying to make amends. This of course assumes that the purpose of APC is to pacify Baloch and not the US where the COngress has introduced a resolution.

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  • Mo
    Feb 23, 2012 - 9:53AM

    @Amir
    u r saying what musharraf says.
    musharraf is responsible for all of the mess.
    He has destroyed the intergrity of pakistan.
    He claims he did economic wonders for pakistan. What is the use of economy when we are not secure in our own country

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  • Chilli
    Feb 23, 2012 - 10:07AM

    PPP already wasted the whole tenure for nothing. Their so called package never kicked off with their provincial government in place. This is understood that PPP blunders may cost another division in Pakistan.

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  • syed Imran
    Feb 23, 2012 - 10:12AM

    Nawaz Sharif is simply playing politics and in a way evading responsibility to help find a solution.
    Infact Politicians in Pakistan play politics for their personal gains and not for the sake of this country
    .

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  • Karim
    Feb 23, 2012 - 11:51AM

    Dirty Politics Mian Sahib!

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