The Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) has joined the rising tide of voices warning that the situation in Balochistan is grim, and called upon the government to hold meaningful negotiations with “legitimate Balochdi leaders” on Monday.
The demand was made during an All Parties Conference convened by the DPC in Quetta – which went ahead although all Baloch and Pashtun parties had declined to DPC’s invitation to participate. DPC Chairperson Maulana Samiul Haq read out a declaration categorically stating that they will back all of the demands of Baloch leaders, excluding independence for Balochistan.
It was also announced that DPC will mark March 9 across the country as a day of solidarity with the violence-stricken province. In addition, the council has also formed a committee to prepare a draft over the Balochistan issue, which they claim will consult all stakeholders. The committee will then propose a solution which will be handed over to the government. The draft will include the demand that the perpetrators of Nawab Akbar Bugti’s murder, including former president Pervez Musharraf, must be held accountable.
“The extra-judicial killings by Frontier Corps (FC), police or any other law enforcement agencies, practices of enforced disappearances and military operations in Balochistan must be ended soon. The government should ensure the implementation of its announcement about the withdrawal of the army from Balochistan,” read the declaration.
Haq lashed out at the government, saying there was no difference between the policies of Musharraf and President Asif Ali Zardari over Balochistan. He also condemned the US resolution on Balochistan saying it was an attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) General Secretary Liaquat Baloch and chief of Jamaatud Dawa Hafiz Saeed also pledged support to the Balochistan cause.
Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Ziaul Haq) chief Ejazul Haq also chimed in, saying “The DPC will not take part in the All Party Conference being convened by the prime minister until the government takes some practical steps”.
Meanwhile, Ulema Council Chairperson Allama Tahir Ashrafi urged the Supreme Court to focus its attention solely on Baloch missing persons.
The DPC also announced that it will hold a “huge gathering” in Balochistan on April 12.
Former Inter-Services Intelligence chief Hameed Gul, Maulana Asmatullah and others also spoke on the occasion.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2012.
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