Sardar Akhtar Mengal, president of his faction of the Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal), cast fresh doubts about the transparency of the May 11 election, saying he had already shared his party’s misgivings with Governor Zulfiqar Magsi.
Mengal said he informed Magsi of the difficulties his party faced in launching its election campaign across the province. “Free, fair and transparent elections are not possible when bullet-riddled and mutilated bodies are thrown in the open for public display,” he told reporters.
He said the discovery of such bodies indicated the state’s policies towards Balochistan and its people.
“Presumably, the government functionaries are performing the job of population control by killing the Baloch and throwing their bodies in the open,” Mengal remarked.
He renewed his claim that the government functionaries had never respected the Constitution and laws of the land.
The BNP leader said that a general strike call was the right of the Baloch National Front. “We have never interfered in the struggle of others or created obstacles in their way. Thus others should also respect our democratic and peaceful struggle,” he said.
Mengal said that regaining national rights by using force was not possible at the moment. “For regaining national rights, mass awareness and public support is necessary and without mass support, they cannot be regained.”
Elaborating further on his party’s participation in the polls, he claimed that BNP was contesting on 14 National Assembly and 34 provincial assembly seats. He said he had candidates who were prepared for the elections but in return for the release of missing people from the custody of law enforcement agencies, he would be ready to surrender any seat and the BNP candidates could withdraw their nomination papers.
Mengal condemned the government’s move to implicate children and teenagers in acts of terrorism in the province.
“In the past, our young and old were accused of being terrorists and now I fear that our dead will also face the same charge in near future.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2013.
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