Oct 09, 2008

Balochistan: Talks Possible As Law and Order Improves?

Sample Image Should assertions that Pakistan’s government can be the only actor to initiate talks be a cause for concern just as the climate for reconciliation is growing more hopeful? 

Below is an article written by Ghulam Tahir and published by the Pakistan Observer: 

Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi Governor Balochistan declared here Tuesday that peace in Balochistan was not far away after the change in the policy of Federal Government in improving the law and order situation in the disturbed province of Balochistan. 

He said some substantial progress had been made during the process of reconciliation with prominent political figures and in case the provincial government is made responsible for achieving this noble objective it would produce positive results sooner than expected. 

Talking to this scribe Nawab Magsi pointed out that in principle maintenance of law and order is the basic responsibility of the provincial government under the constitution and if this task is entrusted to the provincial government peace and tranquillity would prevail at the earliest. Nawab Magsi pointed out that country was now between the devil and deep sea and the nation is in the grip of serious crises on two fronts. He said one is interior and other is financial situation. He said the sanity should prevail among the political leaders and they should rise to the occasion and forge unity to lead the country out of the mess with joint efforts.  

He maintained that the government is always powerful and so it should be the first in initiating negotiations. He said in this context some progress had been made and now it depended on the federal government to what extent it extended its cooperation to the provincial government for realizing the common objective. 

The Governor appreciated the decision of the government in withdrawing the cases against certain elements in the province but it is not enough to achieve the desirable goal. He suggested that cases against all other people should be withdrawn except those involved in undermining the integrity of Pakistan and asking for independent status. Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi said that it is the high time to declare general amnesty in Balochistan to put the province on the rail of peace and prosperity with a view to remove the traces of poverty and enabling the people to take part in the mainstream of national affairs. 

He said that continuous contact between the government and political leaders of divergent views is in progress and it has improved situation to great extent. He urged the federal government to extend unstinted support to the provincial government so that desired results could be realized. 

About the tribal system in the province the Governor said that the government would not interfere in the tribal traditions and conventions.