Restoring peace: APC on Balochistan turmoil by end-January

Jan Buledi hopes to bring insurgents to the negotiating table.


Shezad Baloch January 16, 2014
Jan Buledi hopes to bring insurgents to the negotiating table. GRAPHIC: EXPRESS/FILE

QUETTA:


Balochistan government has approached all political forces in the province for an all parties’ conference (APC) which is likely to be held at the end of January in Quetta, a provincial government spokesperson said on Wednesday.


The APC was scheduled to be held in December but could not take place due to the local government elections in the province. The conference is being held to seek suggestions from all political forces on how to restore peace in the volatile region. Besides insurgency and sectarian violence, the issues of kidnapping for ransom will also be discussed in the APC.

“We have discussed the theme of the APC with all political and religious parties of the province and want all stakeholders to participate and give recommendations about what needs to be done to steer the province out of crises. We will have the representatives of all parties in the conference,” the spokesperson, Jan Mohammed Buledi, told The Express Tribune in an exclusive interview.

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“Everything is being finalised and the APC will take place at the end of January,” he added. The government will form a committee during the APC which will be mandated to contact the insurgents and other stakeholders to bring peace in the province.

Asked whether security agencies or military officials are attending the APC directly or indirectly, Buledi said, “It is a purely political issue and should be resolved politically. The National Party (NP) has come to power with a mandate and wants to address the issues. The government does have the complete support of the Centre and all federal institutions,” he said.

“We are doing what we are expected to do as a ruling party. We will try to bring the separatist leaders to the negotiating table. If the armed groups have grievances, the Balochistan government will ask Islamabad to address them,” he added.

Commenting on the government’s performance on core issues like missing persons, Buledi claimed that recovery of bullet-riddled bodies has declined since the government came to power for the past seven months, while cases of enforced disappearances are being taken up by the courts.“These are positive improvements which will help to persuade the insurgents and angry leadership to join dialogue. We will do more if needed,” he said.

To a question about the recent recovery of bullet-riddled bodies of Baloch political activists in Kech and Karachi, he said the Baloch armed groups had killed many political activists.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2014.

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