Islamabad, May 28 - Pakistan’s main political parties have asked the Government to stop military operations in Balochistan and find a political solution to the numerous problems of the insurgency-hit province.
“The politics of the garrison should be replaced by civilian authorities that genuinely represent the will of the people (of Balochistan),” said a resolution adopted at a national conference on the province that was organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association and attended by all leading political parties yesterday.
“In parallel to political negotiations, all military and paramilitary operations are to be stopped forthwith and the army and Frontier Constabulary are to be called back to cantonment,” said the resolution.
Political parties like the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, main opposition PML-N, Imran Khan’s Tehrik-e-Insaf and Jamaat-e-Islami attended the conference. The leadership of these parties also urged the government to take steps to resolve pressing matters like the issue of “missing persons” or people detained without charge by security and intelligence agencies.
The meeting was addressed by PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan, PPP leader Raza Rabbani, PML-Q Secretary General Mushahid Hussain Sayed and Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the former chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami.
Balochistan has been rocked by violence blamed on banned sectarian groups and Baloch nationalist groups in recent months. Dozens of members of the minority Hazara Shia community have been killed by sectarian groups like the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi while Baloch national groups demanding greater autonomy have carried out a string of bombings and attacks.
“The situation in Balochistan is complex and solutions too must be found in multiple directions, including renegotiation of the question of provincial autonomy with economic resources to the province.
“Nevertheless, the participants emphasised that the crisis was one which could only be resolved through political dialogue, negotiations and through building confidence between the people of Balochistan and the federal government,” said the resolution adopted at the conference. The political parties demanded the arrest and trial of those responsible for the death of Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti, who was killed during a military operation ordered by former President Pervez Musharraf in 2006. PTI