LAHORE - Different politicians and people from public sectors on Friday raised their voices over Balochitsan issue, saying without minimizing the trust breach between Islamabad and Balochistan and addressing the concerns of Balochs, the issue cannot be resolved.
During a seminar on “Problems of Balochistan and their solution” organized by Citizen Council of Pakistan (CCP) at Hamdard Hall, the speakers expressed that the solution for the issue was vague without addressing the concerns of Balochs suffering from disparity and inferiority.
CCP President Rana Amir Khan presided over the sitting while Senior Vice President Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Admiral (r) Javed Iqbal was the chief speaker on the occasion while others included PTI Balochistan Chief Qasim Soori, Political Analyst Salman Abid, Saeed Ahmad Khan Advocate.
The CCP raised many questions over the issue including the democratic rights of the province. Is Balochistan victim of discrimination these days? Are the tribal lords or the common masses real victims? What is role of the provincial elected government in resolving the core issue? What are the factors behind an independent Balochistan Movement? What is the role of intelligence agencies in the province? To what extent the external players like India and America are involved in creating chaos in the province? These were too the questions objected by the speakers.
Adm (r) Javed Iqbal presented the historic perspective of the Balochistan issue and factors that were involved in creating the issue gave a solution. To the questions raised by the CCP, he said that the current issue was not much different from that of the East Pakistan in 1971. Considering the spy agencies and the military as patriotic as any Pakistani could be, he said, the need was to differentiate between who differ with the establishment and those who hit it. He also said that the need was to change the mindset that Balochistan was our colony.
Talking about the role of India and the US in the internal affairs, Iqbal said, “Both of the powers have their own interests who have given a lollypop to the tribal leaders that the solution lies in separation only.” He said that a proxy war was being fought among many stakeholders including Abu Dhabi, Masqat, Iran and KSA, who he said, do not like Pak-Iran gas pipeline project and the Gawadar Port operational.
He said that the Baloch youth did not like the leaders who, they thought, did nothing for their welfare, adding that the PTI had focussed on the youth and the common man of the remote areas. He urged all the main stream political parties to start activities in Balochistan and hold public meetings like the PTI did. The government by complying with Balochistan Package and providing the amenities could resolve the issue, he added.
PTI Balochistan Chapter chief Qasim Soori said that the people of Punjab should raise voice for poor Balochs. He said that he was aware of the problems the Punjabis had been facing in Rajan Pur, Rojhan Jamali and Rahim Yar Khan and other villages but they should protest against those who grasped their rights.
Criticising the past rulers who made dealings with the Baloch tribal lords who digested the money instead of spending on public schemes, Soori said, “The common man of the province has been badly ignored and nothing was done to uplift his lifestyle by providing educational or health facilities”.
Salman Abid said that the Balochs were against Punjabi establishment and no political party had a package to address the disparities of the people. He said that the Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti murder and missing persons’ cases were the main issues that needed instant attention of the power echelons.
Rana Amir Khan said that the political parties cared more for their vote bank than the national sovereignty, adding that the family dominance in the parties had destroyed the beauty of democracy.