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Balochistan crisis: We will never negotiate with govt, says BRP

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Balochistan crisis: We will never negotiate with govt, says BRP

Post  Bolan on Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:03 pm


ISLAMABAD:The government is making efforts, ostensibly, to address the Balochistan crisis – but for the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) led by Nawabzada Brahamdagh Bugti, it makes no difference. The BRP remains adamant to refrain from participating in talks with a government-sponsored negotiation team.
BRP Central Secretary Dr Bashir Azeem told The Express Tribune his party chief had already made it clear that they would never accept any invitation from the government for dialogue on the Balachistan issue.
“I can tell you on behalf of Brahamdagh Bugti, Commander of the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) Dr Allah Nazar and (Dubai-based exile Baloch nationalist leader) Harbiyar Marri, that talking to the government is out of the question … President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf or any other official are not in a position to take any decision on the crisis,” said Azeem, who is also Brahamdagh’s spokesperson.
“Everybody knows who is calling the shots in Balochistan … Talks are possible but only on our agenda – independence. If the army is at all serious about having talks with us, it will have to recognise our agenda,” he added.
Speaking to the media earlier this week, Interior Minister Rehman Malik had suggested that a parliamentary committee should be formed to hold talks with Baloch leaders, including Brahamdagh and Harbiyar.
To political observers, however, the declaration seemed contradictory – BLF and BRP members, who are separatists, often forcibly hoist a Baloch flag and play a Baloch national anthem in far-flung areas of the province. Yet the interior minister had stated the government only wanted to hold a dialogue with those Baloch leaders who respected the national flag, anthem and Constitution of Pakistan.
Azeem dismissed the interior minister, saying his statement carried no value as he’s known for “overstepping his authority”.
The spokesman added, “Those who are serious about talks should approach Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri (Harbiyar’s father) in Karachi as he is the only Baloch leader in Pakistan who can take any decision on the Balochistan conflict … I don’t know whether Nawab Marri is willing to enter into dialogue with the army or the government. However, the solution is in the hands of Nawab Marri.”
Azeem claimed that Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfikar Magsi and various cabinet and parliamentary commissions appointed to hold talks with Baloch leaders, have also told the federal government that it should talk to only those Baloch who are “genuine leaders” of the province – an apparent reference to Nawab Marri, his son Harbiyar, Brahamdagh and Dr Allah Nazar.
That’s why, Azeem said, “It is a matter of surprise that Pakistan’s government is talking to those Baloch politicians who are part of the country’s parliament. Pakistani media also projects those pro-federation Baloch parliamentarians who cannot play any role in resolving the issues faced by Balochistan and the Baloch.
“Pakistan’s media never contacted us or our leaders as it does not want to listen to the voice of the true and authentic leaders of Balochistan who have been fighting for our rights for the last 62 years.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2012.
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