The six-point formula for the solution of Balochistan crisis, by former chief minister of the province and president of his own faction of the Balochistan National Party, Sardar Akhtar Mengal, has garnered support not only from friends, but also political foes.
Pro-federation Baloch and Pakhtun nationalist parties in Balochistan are equally lending their support.
The Balochistan-based leading Pakhtun nationalist party, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP) has expressed its support for Mengal’s charter, and said that Mengal, in fact, has supported their formula on the issue.
PMAP, known for its bitter political rivalry with Baloch nationalists over the political and economic rights of Pakhtuns in the province, said it always opposed military operations and the constant interference of intelligence agencies in the political affairs of the province.
“We are grateful to Sardar Mengal for supporting our demands,” said Usman Kakar, provincial president of PMAP while talking to The Express Tribune.
“Mehmood Khan Achakzai, the chief of our party, has since long been demanding that the army and security institutions should have no role in the political affairs of the country,” Kakar said.
Pro-federation Baloch nationalists
The pro-federation National Party (NP), the largest Baloch nationalist party led by Senator Dr Abdul Malik, has also strongly backed Mengal’s six points.
Mir Tahir Bizenjo, secretary general of the NP, said the formula was not against the Constitution.
He criticised those who took exception to the charter merely on the grounds that Mengal compared his formula to that of Sheikh Mujeebur Rehman.
“Those who are criticising the six points of Mengal are not aware of the history of Pakistan,” he said.
“They also are not aware of the role played by the Bengalis of the subcontinent, and Shaikh Mujeebur Rehman, in the creation of Pakistan,” he added.
“Missing persons is the burning issue of the province and there cannot be two opinions about it,” Bizenjo said, rejecting Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s claims that foreign elements are responsible for Balochistan unrest.
ANP skeptical, PPP furious
Aurangzeb Kasi, the provincial president of the Awami National Party (ANP), supported Mengal’s points but added that killings of members of the Hazara community and Punjabi settlers in Quetta should also be stopped immediately.
“We fully support the six-point formula of Mengal, but his statement should be viewed in the context of the forthcoming general elections,” he said.
“It appears that the establishment has now decided to pitch Mengal against the Baloch separatists,” Kasi added.
Mir Sadiq Umrani, a provincial Cabinet minister and the provincial president of the Pakistan Peoples Party, said that Sardar Mengal had no mandate to speak on behalf of the entire Balochistan province.
“It is the mandate of those people who were elected for the Senate, national and provincial assemblies,” Umrani said.
“Mengal is not an elected representative of the Baloch people, therefore, he had no right to present six points for the solution of the Balochistan issue,” he added.
Other mainstream parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, and the Jaamat-e-Islami have already endorsed Mengal’s position on missing persons in Balochistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2012.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ