QUETTA: Member National Assembly and President of Balochistan National Party – Mengal (BNP-M) Sardar Akhtar Mengal has criticised Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML- N) saying that the latter targeted BNP-M workers in Balochistan because of political differences.
“No one can invalidate my statements, BNP-M was more victimised in the province during PML-N, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and National Party’s (NP) regimes after the 2013 elections than Musharraf’s dictatorship,” claimed BNP-M leader.
He said this attitude provoked the BNP to support a no-confidence move against PML-N chief minister in 2018.
“Our political workers were targeted and abducted. We were neglected in all administrative and development affairs at the behest of PML-N,” Mengal said.
Talking about his relations with senior leadership of PML-N, particularly former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, he maintained that there hasn’t been any political or moral difference with the PML-N supremo. However, during his tenure, the federal government completely ‘neglected’ the people of Balochistan, Mengal added.
Replying to a query regarding transparency of elections, the BNP-M Chief said other than the 70s’ polls, the country has been witnessing a façade of free and fair elections over the last four decades.
He said unfortunately the results of the 1970’s elections were not accepted.
“After National Awami Party’s (NAP) government in Balochistan, elections in the province were against the will of the people,” BNP-M chief said.
Responding to a question regarding the neutrality of the 2013 elections, Mengal affirmed that independent candidates were forced to join Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).
“We decided to let that development unfold because we never saw such level of hard work for any party,” he continued.
“The BAP contacted us for a coalition government in Balochistan but we had already decided to form a provincial government with our ally Muthaida Majlis-e- Amal (MMA), after which they commenced back-door contacts with the MMA to damage our alliance.”
Mengal added that the politics of BNP-M revolves around the people of the province and from the very first day the party is fighting for Balochistan’s rights.
“Without addressing the issues of the people, including political, economic and development-related, nothing would be achieved,” he said.
“Incumbent federal government has conceded our Charter of Demands which comprises six points. It is the only solution to address our woes spanning 70 years,” said the tribal chieftain, vowing to not return without assurances of implementation from the Prime Minister.
The BNP- M chief asserted that if the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government follows the footsteps of the previous regimes, Balochistan’s issues will not be resolved till the Day of Judgement.
Sharing his views on Pakistan’s relations with other countries, Mengal said that no political force has the power to run the country’s foreign policy. He stated that foreign relations, particularly with neighbours, are deteriorating.
“Three out of four of our neighbours have turned our enemies and yet instead of building friendly relations with the neighbouring countries, we rely on nations that are thousands of miles away,” Mengal said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2019.