In a bid to tackle the increasingly volatile law and order situation of the province, the Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Association (Pesa) on Sunday asked the government to impose the ‘Governor’s Rule’ in Balochistan.
“Balochistan’s situation is tied to poor governance and all agencies must cooperate with the Supreme Court in the missing persons’ case,” demanded former military leaders during a meeting of Pesa under the chairmanship of its President Lt Gen (retd) Ali Kuli Khan.
The ex-military men demanded that action on the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan should be intensified under a “hard taskmaster”; natural resources must be given under the ownership of the province; electricity and gas from Iran should first be provided to Balochistan and that local bodies must be restored to give people a sense of participation.
“The situation in Balochistan is not heading towards any solution as we continue to blame the ‘Sardari System’ for the backwardness of Balochistan,” said an official statement on Sunday. Leaders noted that the existing system was deeply embedded in the Baloch society and a common Baloch has never complained about their ‘Sardars’.
They asserted that problems emerge when people are made to believe that their miseries exist because ‘others are exploiting their economic resources’. “That creates hatred, loss of faith in the state and gives a chance to outsiders to exploit the situation in their favour. This happened in East Pakistan and is now happening in Balochistan.”
The discussion came to the conclusion that the case of missing persons was the most serious one in the province. Other than that, leaders were of the view that poor governance and police inefficiency was responsible for not being able to catch even a single culprit.
They suggested that gas from Iran should be first supplied to the entire province, before other provinces make use of it. “Announcement should be made immediately and work on the distribution pipes should start without any delay,” they demanded.
Taking into notice the general view that Balochistan lacks water resources, participants suggested that the half-a-century-old plan of building underground dams should be implemented on a priority basis. “Such dams are a success in many countries, particularly in Brazil. Rain torrents coming from Afghanistan get absorbed on their way to the Chagai Hills. This water needs to be tapped through deep drilling.”
Condemning the US, Pesa participants said that aggressive statements by US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta only proved that America had no regards for the sensitivities and difficulties facing Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2012.
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