Balochistan: Amnesty Plan Ready for Balochistan
Below is an article published by Dawn.com :
The government has decided to withdraw cases against Baloch leaders and grant general amnesty to political prisoners and those who are in exile or allegedly involved in anti-state activities.
Sources associated with the Balochistan Committee of Pakistan People’s Party said recommendations of the committee had been approved by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
‘We have presented the report to the president and the prime minister and it will be announced by Mr Zardari very soon,’ the committee’s head, Senator Raza Rabbani, said.
He refused to give details of the report and said it was the prerogative of PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari to make them public.
A source in the presidency confirmed that the president and the prime minister had approved amnesty to Baloch leaders, including those belonging to the Bugti tribe.
Some of Bugti tribe leaders, including Bramdagh Bugti, grandson of Nawab Akbar Bugti, have been accused of being involved in anti-state activities in Balochistan and other parts of the country.
Addressing a joint sitting of parliament, President Zardari had expressed his desire that Baloch leaders should be given general amnesty so that their grievances could be addressed and they could be brought into the political mainstream.
He had said: ‘Ways and means may be explored for the voluntary return of exiles and grant of general amnesty to political prisoners.’
Mr Zardari had stressed that an enabling environment needed to be created to facilitate the return and rehabilitation of displaced persons in Balochistan who fled their homes recently. ‘Give them the autonomy they have been demanding for 60 years,’ he said.
The president said he had visited Balochistan and felt bitterness of the past there as they (Baloch people) felt deprived and neglected. ‘We need to bring together the federating units in a spirit of mutual accommodation. Let us not give an excuse to our enemies to exploit the deprivations of the people of the province.’
In a recent meeting with Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi, the president said the government was determined to remove sense of deprivation among the Baloch people and address financial problems of the province.
Mr Zardari said the government had already announced special measures and packages for Balochistan. ‘People of Balochistan will be brought into mainstream of national life at par with people of other provinces in terms of development in light of the recommendations of the parliamentary committee on Balochistan,’ he said.