While there may be ‘undeniable evidence’ of the involvement of ‘external forces’ behind the Balochistan unrest, the government, for once, is looking inwards.
“There has been evidence of external involvement in Balochistan. Some forces have been trying to destabilise the situation in the province,” Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit said in his weekly briefing on Friday
He would not identify those ‘external elements’ however, insisting there was no point in discussing such matters publicly.
In the past, Islamabad pointed fingers at India for exploiting the ongoing law and order problem in the province. Some rightwing elements have also accused the US of encouraging Baloch dissidents to foment violence in the province.
But the government has recently stepped up efforts to seek an internal, political solution to the problem.
Basit confirmed that Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar raised the issue of a resolution tabled in the American Congress, seeking right of self-determination for Balochis with her US counterpart Hillary Clinton on Thursday in London, on the sidelines of the Somalia conference.
The spokesperson described the Khar-Clinton meeting as “positive and constructive”. It was the first high level interaction between the two countries, since their relations hit rock-bottom late last year over the Nato airstrikes on Pakistani check posts killing 24 soldiers.
“Pakistan-US relations are important and we are trying to make this transparent and predictable,” he added, reiterating that relations with the US would proceed in light of parliamentary guidelines.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2012.