The Balochistan chief minister has said that the federal government and security establishment would have to play an ‘extended role’ in the restoration of peace in the strife-torn province.
“We are trying to convince the federal government and the military leadership to assist us in overcoming the problems faced by the people,” Dr Abdul Malik Baloch told a news conference in Quetta on Friday.
He added that his administration would need Islamabad’s cooperation in recovering missing persons, putting an end to dumping of bullet-riddled bodies, targeted killings and sectarian violence.
“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is deeply concerned about critical Balochistan issues and has assured me of his full support to resolve them,” Dr Malik said. “If we can have a good strategy in place, all these problems can be resolved,” he added.
Referring to the enormity and multiplicity of issues, the chief minister said every individual would have to play his role to help the government pull Balochistan out of the quagmire.
Expressing concern over the condition of educational and health institutions, Dr Malik vowed to bring necessary reforms in the two important sectors. He said that the fluid security situation has damaged all sectors, including agriculture, trade, education and health.
The chief minister emphasised that the decreasing subsoil water level was alarming for the province. “If the situation persists, this might force farmers to move to other areas in search of water,” he said.
Dr Malik said that his administration, with help from its coalition partners, would try to resolve the issues facing Balochistan. He added that all political parties in the province were determined to steer the province out of crises.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2013.