Nov 16, 2009

Balochistan: Baloch Nationalists Pessimistic about Government Package

Active ImageBaloch nationalist parties are sceptical of the federal government’s decision to sideline them in an upcoming consultation with the Balochistan governor, the chief minister and the entire provincial cabinet to finalise the Balochistan package: they insist that a constitutional package formulated without consulting “genuine Baloch representatives is predestined to fail”.


Below is an article published by the Daily Times:


According to former senator Tahir Bizenjo – the secretary general of the National Party (NP) – Baloch nationalist parties and armed groups are “two important stakeholders in the crisis”. He said the government had “cleverly snubbed” the two in seeking recommendations to overcome the turmoil in Balochistan. He claimed that the Balochistan Assembly did not represent the true aspirations of the people of Balochistan.

“Baloch nationalist parties have been disappointed by the government... because the actual Baloch leadership has not been given a chance to sit down to the negotiations table,” Bizenjo told Daily Times. He believes the first thing the government must do is to steer the armed groups to “a peace position and grant them general amnesty”.

Likewise, the BNP is also disapproving of the government’s approach towards the Balochistan issue. The party believes the issue “does not revolve around grants and packages... it is a matter of the right to ownership and full control over natural resources in the province”. Even a few serving ministers are cynical about the government’s policy: Balochistan Agriculture Minister Mir Asadullah Baloch said the “civil and military bureaucracy in Islamabad was trying to bluff the Baloch through packages, to divert attention from seeking complete provincial autonomy”.