LAHORE: Pakistan cannot prosper until its foreign policy makes a complete paradigm shift, said Senator Mir Hasil Bukhsh Bizenjo on Tuesday.
Speaking at a seminar titled “Balochistan – Problems and Solutions” at the Punjab University, Bizenjo said Pakistan needs to become a true federation and a true democracy in order to survive and grow.
Commenting on the situation in Balochistan, Bizenjo said issues regarding missing persons, bullet-ridden bodies and contract killers hired by agencies should be immediately solved.
Highlighting the Baloch-Punjab clash, the Senator said that before 2007, no incidents of this sort was reported. “The first Punjabi came to Balochistan in 1901 and until 2007, not a single Punjabi-Baloch riot took place. But after 2007 when Nawab Akbar Bugti was murdered, yes, Punjabis were killed,” he said.
“We condemn the killings but I would like to tell you that even today there are many Punjabis living in Quetta. Some had migrated but now many of them have come back again,” he said.
Bizenjo stated that the people of Punjab had suffered the most at the hands of establishment. “Establishment tried to keep the people of Punjab in a fear. Just for their vested interests, some politicians, general and bureaucrats created a perception in Punjab that the people belonging to the other parts of the country were opponents of Pakistan,” he said.
Admitting the existence of trust deficit between Balochistan and Punjab, Bizenjo said that some people with power violated the rights of Baloch people and blamed it on Punjabi people.
He added that there were four mutinies in Balochistan and none of them was for separation or independence of the province. “There were small incidents which kept increasing the trust deficit between people of Balochistan and Punjab,” he maintained.
Adding to the discussion, Baloch leader and Chairman of National Party Balochistan Dr Abdul Hayee Baloch said that the people of Balochistan would never accept slavery and have the right to be sovereign. He pointed out that hundreds of Baloch youth were missing however the government claims that the number was small. “Discovery of dead bodies from different locations increase hatred in Baloch people,” he added.
Former DG (retired) Military Training Centre Javed Iqbal said only few people in Punjab know about the culture and traditions of Balochistan and vice versa. “Awareness regarding the culture of different provinces should be created on national level,” he said.
Calling Baloch elders and tribesmen to come up with solutions, Iqbal said that the problems can be solved with political moves and not force. “Federal government, provincial government and Baloch intellectuals should sit together and find out solutions to Balochistan’s problems,” he maintained.
“Pakistan Army has been educating around 27,000 Baloch children in its schools in Balochistan,” he said, appreciating the efforts by the army to improve the situation.
PU Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran, while speaking on the occasion, also announced seats for the students from Balochistan in every department of the university.