The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is said to be seriously contemplating convening a “grand Jirga” in Balochsitan, in which all political parties of the province will participate.
According to party sources, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif will preside over the Jirga and its suggestions will be presented in Parliament and incorporated in the party’s manifesto for the next general elections.
Leader of Opposition Ch Nisar Ali Khan confirmed the development, but said that it was premature to leak the main points of the jirga. However, he added that it will be fruitful for the Baloch people.
‘APC for political gains’
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that the federal government is planning to call All Parties Conference (APC) just for political mileage.
“The time has come to address the grievances of Balochistan practically instead of issuing statements from the bunker of the Presidency” he said, while addressing the Punjab Assembly on Thursday.
He said that the injustices Balochistan has faced are a massive injury to Pakistan, which now “needs antibiotics”.
He urged the speaker of the assembly to constitute a committee, of all parties, which should draft a resolution condemning all military operations in Balochsitan.
He added that a comprehensive resolution should convey the message that Punjab will not rest until all grievances of Balochistan are addressed.
Before leaving for Saudi Arabia on February 22, Pakistan Muslim League chief Nawaz Sharif announced a two-point condition over his party’s participation in the All Parties Conference the government is likely to call over the Balcohistan issue.
Sharif said that the APC would be useless unless killers of Baloch leader Nawaz Akbar Bugti are arrested and Baloch missing persons recovered.
A few members of PML-N’s think tank, who belong to Balochistan, have advised the party leadership not to participate in the APC as both stakeholders – Baloch separatists and the army – will not be in attendance. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan told The Express Tribune that PML-N has a one-point agenda for the solution of Balochistan, which is to immediately withdraw the army from the province.
PML-N’s MPA Sher Ali Gorchnai, while speaking on the floor of the Punjab Assembly, alleged that a military operation was still on in Balochistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2012.