The condition put forward by self-exiled Baloch leader, Khan of Kalat, has complicated the process of negotiation initiated by the Balochistan government to bring back to Pakistan all the estranged Baloch leaders.
“Khan of Kalat Agha Suleman Daud said he left the country following the decision of a grand jirga of Baloch tribal chieftains held in Kalat right after the assassination of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in 2006 and could return on the instruction of the same forum ,” revealed a credible source present in the meeting.
“The grand jirga is only mandated to decide whether I should return to Pakistan or not as the jirga sent me abroad to fight the case of Balochistan,” a close relative of Daud quoted him as saying.
The delegation – comprising Balochistan Services and General Administration Department Minister Nawab Muhammad Khan Shahwani, MNA Sardar Kamal Bangulzai, Senator Mir Kabir Muhammad Shahi and Provincial Adviser on Finance Mir Khalid Langove – met Suleman Daud in order to persuade him to return to Pakistan. The delegation informed the Khan of Kalat that people of Balochistan wanted him to come back and serve the nation. According to sources, the Khan replied that his struggle was solely for the people of Balochistan but he was unable to return.
One of the Khan’s relatives said Suleman Daud also demanded that the combat forces should return to barracks and put an end to the military operation. He also demanded that all the detainees should be released and a guarantee should be given that life and property of Baloch people are protected.
However, the Balochistan government said the outcome of the meeting was positive and hoped that it would help expedite efforts at bringing back the estranged Baloch leaders.
“Most of the tribal chieftains, who had been part of the grand jirga, are either part of the government or are sitting in the Balochistan Assembly,” said Balochistan Chief Minister’s spokesperson Jan Mohammed Buledi. He said the government will support Khan of Kalat for holding another grand tribal gathering, once he returns as the earlier jirga was called by the Khan himself.
He said those who went to London to meet Suleman Daud were also part of the grand Jirga in 2006. “Almost all the tribal chieftains are part of the mainstream politics in Pakistan and are struggling to attain the rights of Balochistan people,” Buledi said.
He said the government is hopeful and is making its utmost efforts to address this serious issue.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2015.