With no progress despite heightened urgency, the government seems to have taken some desperate steps to break a crippling impasse on Balochistan – political, monetary and security-related.
“All cases will be withdrawn against Baloch leaders if they return back to their homeland,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Thursday.
The offer has been made to Baloch leaders in exile such as Brahamdagh Bugti and Hyrbyiar Marri, and comes at a time when the government’s effort to convene all political forces on the matter is floundering.
Thursday’s offer came right after some hectic behind the scenes meetings.
The interior minister first met Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to discuss the issue of Balochistan before chairing a meeting on the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan.
Both, Malik and Gilani, principally decided to invite Baloch leaders in order to initiate fresh talks with disgruntled Baloch leaders.
Furthermore, they discussed that, if the offer is accepted, the leadership of the Balochistan Jamhoori Watan Party will nominate their representatives for initiating talks with the government.
“We want a political solution of the Balochistan issue,” said Malik, adding that serious steps needed to be taken to save the country. “Both Brahamdagh Bugti and Hyrbyiar Marri should take part in the political and development process and I would personally receive them,” he added.
Expressing deep concern over the non-cooperative attitude of some political parties, Malik asked: “Where do we go? We are criticised whether we call an All Parties Conference or if we don’t”.
Officials of the interior ministery also told The Express Tribune that Pakistan has sought the help of Swiss authorities to convince Brahamdagh Bugti to return to Pakistan.
Brahamdagh went underground when his grandfather Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed in an operation conducted by the Pakistan military during the regime of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf in 2006.
Several dissidents from Balochistan, namely Khan of Kalat Mir Suleman Dawood, Hyrbyiar Marri, a son of veteran nationalist leader Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, and former leader of the opposition in the Balochistan Assembly Kachkol Ali Baloch have all succeeded in getting political asylum overseas.
Senior leader of the Mengal family Sardar Akhtar Mengal, who was imprisoned for more than a year during the Musharraf regime, and former senator Sanaullah Baloch are also settled abroad.
Development in Balochistan
The amnesty was supplemented by approval of other outstanding concessions.
On Thursday, the government also announced that around 15,000 young graduates/post-graduates from Balochistan will be provided paid internships as school teachers in Balochistan under the new Prime Minister’s Internship for Balochistan programme.
Furthermore, the government will release Rs4 billion to Wapda on account of its share of subsidy for farmers in Balochistan. As many as 2,400 new posts, in all government categories and departments that fall under the centre, will be given to Balochistan residents on merit with the assistance of MNAs and senators from Balochistan.
To encourage the representation of Balochistan at the federal level, any officer coming to Islamabad will be awarded a higher post.
Also, during the meeting on the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan, it was decided to increase the number of Benazir Income Support Programme beneficiaries, from 375,000 to 750,000.
It was also decided that free education provided to 150 brilliant students from Balochistan will be increased to 500 students in the next academic year and an endowment fund of Rs5 billion would be created for its sustainability.
Aside from the sweet monetary package, there were security concessions made, too.
It was also decided that the Frontier Constabulary Balochistan will not move in any district without permission of the Deputy Commissioner, and that no check post should be established by the FC without permission from the Balochistan chief minister.
Furthermore, FC and coastal guard should exercise powers under Customs Act and strictly in accordance with the law and keep their deployment restricted to 10 kilometres of the International Border.
And then there was also, propaganda.
It was also decided that the Pakistan Television should air documentaries and programmes on the implementation of the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan regularly for general awareness and information.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2012.
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It's a trap.Once the turn up in Pakistan, they will join the 'missing persons'.
Given its track record
We don't expect much practical work from this Govt.
Rehman Malik has been telling the world that India was behind it all, though all these years no proof has even been produced. This 'amnesty' is an indirect negation of his earlier statements.
Now he should come clean and have the courage to tell the truth about the hundreds of kill and dump operations.
RM is enemy of Pakistan.a British national who is on payroll of C I A.he gave permission to Blackwater to bomb all over Pakistan then let over two thosands Raymond Davies in our beloved Country to cause as much damage as they possible could. The Navel Base ISI HQ and other places were attacked by these thugs and now he is talking about Baulchstan. I hope Army and people of Pakistan get tid of this rascal and his Boss out of Pakistan as soon as possible B4 its too late
Dr. Rehman, you and your Government have no credibility whatsoever.
RM...he is lier ... infect he doesnt have any thing in his hand
hahahaha.... Another NRO...
If govt is really want to solve Balochistan issue, Kindly keep Rehman Malik away from this!
Desperate times??? seriously ET???
"All cases would be withdrawn" . OK !! But what about killing and dumping ?? What about ISI ?? What about FC ?? Who will guaranty that ??
baloch said :- you withdraw your forces first . what about that ??
Not good enough.
Great news. Hope there will be implementations. Tired of "all mouth and no trousers" politicians. If this goes through and the Baloch leaders agree to it, I'm sure peace will return to Balochistan.
these steps are coming out at the moment when everything seems to be going out of hand.The implementation of the balochistan package is just a fake drama. Government is pretending to be solving the balochistan conundrum but the other side of the picture is very heinous. the main reason is it is just a blame game for the next upcoming elections . all these efforts will go to drain.
What the Pak Govt propose, the Army of Pakistan dispose.
Maybe in some 3 or 4 or 5 years Army will be welcomed in Pakistan by the people themselves and all the work done by the Civilians comes to naught. That has been the general trend in Pakistan. It is doomed to be stuck in this vicious cycle of Army takeover followed by incompetent and inefficient governance.
late but not too yet.
I think the Government does not realise the seriousness of the issue. My guess it the government has a window of about 6 months to really turn things around or things will slide very very fast for worse.
The demand as I understand is for equal rights, privileges and respect. Consider these and start seriously addressing them.Please
another lie by the ppp govt. Were they sleeping for the last 4 years. but its too late. RM plz go back to UK.
Inter-provincial opporutinities shall be created for Balochistanis so that the understanding and expectation gaps can be plugged.
Interships and job opporutunities with in province are not likely to be as fruitful and beneficial as a startegy.
Travelling and living in a city other than home town is a very tough but rich experience.
Rehman malik is beating about the bush!!
So many tissue boxes at the meeting, on the table. They will need the tissues to wipe their tears.
Shove it Mr. Malik. there are no buyers. You want them first to come to Pakistan and then you will withdraw the cases. Who are you kidding? Anyone can see the trap you are laying.
the problem with ppp is they talk a lot but have delivered nothing. 4 years of pakistan have been wasted.
Things must be really bad.
Rehman malik is beating about the bush!! if really want to hold pakistan togather my suggestion to Rehman malik is to select on permanent sindhi and baloch cricketer in pakistan cricket team per talent. this will narrow the gaps which are widening up in pakistan federation. it is easy and cheap way to win hearts of sindhi and blaloch people. It is way to tell provinces that we have changed in pakistan now!!