The only solution to the Balochistan issue is a political one, not a military one, said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Sunday.
While talking to the media at Allama Iqbal International Airport, Imran said that PTI’s recent public gathering in Quetta has “broken the silence of fear” in the province, adding that the incumbent provincial assembly and cabinet are not the real representatives of the people of Balochistan.
He also challenged President Asif Ali Zardari and chief of his own faction of the Pakistan Muslim League, Nawaz Sharif, to engage with the public in Balochistan if they really believed in addressing the grievances of the Baloch people.
Expressing satisfaction with his rally in Quetta, Imran said, “A general can make PML-N or form a political alliance like Islami Jamhoori Ithehad (IJI) but he can’t bring a tsunami.”
He added that critics of the PTI, who claim that his popularity was manipulated by former ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha, should not forget the party’s moot in Quetta, saying that no mainstream political force dared to hold a public gathering in the volatile province.
While commenting on the issue of troops’ withdrawal from Siachen, he said that both India and Pakistan should withdraw at the same time.
Attacking the incumbent government, Imran said the prime minister wanted to become a political martyr to save “the thieves” and did not want to implement the Supreme Court’s verdicts, referring specifically to an accused in the rental power projects case being made a federal minister.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2012.