KARACHI - Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch declared on Sunday that no headway is possible in dialogue with the Baloch insurgents unless the problem of missing persons is solved.
Admitting his failure, Malik said that despite sincere efforts during the few months of his government he has not achieved any success in the key matter of missing persons.
Addressing a ‘Meet the Press’ programme at Karachi Press Club, the chief executive of Balochistan said the government has no or very weak writ in some areas of the province, especially in Makran and Baloch dominated parts, though his administration was trying its utmost to ensure restoration of government authority in whole of the province.
Dr Malik said that being chief minister of a coalition government he is not independent, however, so far the three allied parties – NP, PML-N and PKMAP – have been on the same page in taking decisions about the Balochistan problems. Malik resigned as chief of a nationalist political group – National Party (NP) – after he was elected chief minister.
The CM said that Baloch insurgency, religious extremism and sectarianism, and tribal conflicts all were basically political issue. The provincial government has planned an All Parties Conference in December this year to evolve a strategy to resolve the law and order problem and contemplate on how to bring the Baloch insurgents on the table for negotiations, CM added.
Malik said that Baloch insurgency has a historical background and it sprung from political struggle of NAP in past, so there was a need to look into the history. He said his government seeks a solution to this problem within the ambit of the constitution of Pakistan through taking onboard all the political forces. “I am not in contact with Barhamdagh Bugti (Baloch insurgent leader and grandson of the Nawab Akbar Bugti), but I wish to talk to him,” Malik remarked while replying to a question.
The chief minister said that law and order situation has improved since his government took power and claimed that no incident of targeted killing of professional like doctors, teachers or lawyers occurred during this period. He however admitted that murder killings of political workers and common citizens had not been completely controlled in the province. But rejected the perception that whoever travelled to Balochistan is to be killed. He invited the media persons and intellectuals to visit the province and see the ground situation. He also announced formation of a commission to investigate of killings of media persons.
To a question about missing persons, the chief minister admitted his failure saying that despite his sincere efforts, no significant success has been achieved on this count. When asked whether FC is part of the Balochistan problem, the chief executive agreed with it partially, saying that the federal force was always summoned by the provincial government to assist in maintaining law and order. He underlined the need for better coordination with the FC, adding that the number of FC check posts has been halved in Quetta.
About earthquake destruction, he said at least 0.25m people were affected in the quake while 32,000 houses and other infrastructure suffered damage amounting to Rs40b to Rs50b. The CM said that he has written to the prime minister either help them reconstruct the infrastructure or allow the UN and other international donors to assist the provincial government in this regard.
Dr Malik said that his government was ready to implement the Supreme Court orders to hold the local govt elections. “The bureaucracy in federal government is trying to encroach the provincial autonomy devolved to the provinces under 18th amendment in constitution, but all such efforts would be resisted”, he concluded.
Earlier, the governing body of Karachi Press Club presented a shield and Sindhi Ajrak and Topi as gifts to the Balochistan CM, who later announced a grant of Rs2 million for press club.