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ہفتہ، 25 فروری، 2012

Ending the cases against the disgruntled Baloch leaders

The Sui gas royalty is concerned, is directly goes into a Bugti scio s pocket. Note a dime is going to the Bugti tribes betterment and welfare. No school, no public service has been developed from this fabulous money he recevies. In fact, one should question the political eminences for supporting dissident sardars demanding the right of self.determination.

. IN a major development, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, after a high level meeting in Islamabad on Thursday, announced amnesty for Baloch leaders and withdrawal of all cases against them. He told newsmen that cases against Brahamdagh Bugti, Barbayar Marri and other Baloch leaders living abroad would be quashed in line with the policy of reconciliation and urged these leaders to come back and play their role in political and development process in the province.

In fact, it was not just amnesty for some estranged leaders but also a number of incentives have also been announced to attract Baloch youth to take part in nation-building. These include 15,000 internships for graduates and post-graduates under Prime Minister’s Internship Programme; filling of 2,400 Federal Government jobs on merit with the assistance of members of the National Assembly and Senate from Balochistan, one step promotion to Baloch officers on deputation to Islamabad, fresh recruitment in Levies and doubling of number of beneficiaries under Benazir Income Support Programme. There are several other steps like award of scholarship to brilliant student and allotment of plots by CDA that make it an attractive package for people of Balochistan, which would surely help remove the sense of deprivation. The real question is, however, its implementation in letter and spirit and we hope that it would be done on priority basis taking elected representatives from the province on board. We have heard on a number of occasions both from the Prime Minister and the Interior Minister that talks would be held with estranged elements and that so many posts would be filled but renewal of the proposals is a clear manifestation that so far no progress has been made towards that end. Why the Government should have waited for taking up of the issue in the US Congress to announce withdrawal of cases and other incentives? Media as well as saner elements of the society have been urging the Government for the last four years to take practical steps but it fell victim to inaction. We would also like to point out that the overall focus of the Government has all along been on pacifying Bugtis and one or two other estranged leaders. We are sorry to say that Bugti brothers and some other elements engaged in Pakistan-bashing and even talking about separation of Balochistan are not the whole of Balochistan. No doubt, this and that army of several hundred disgruntled elements has been raised with the assistance of some foreign countries but this doesn’t mean that they represent the mainstream Baloch not to speak of a large number of Pakhtoons and others living in the province. There needs to be a paradigm shift in the policy of the Government with focus on socio-economic development that would not only help address the problem of backwardness and poverty but also create necessary awareness among ordinary Baloch about their rights, which have so far been denied to them by powerful Sardars and clan leaders.

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