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DERA MURAD JAMALI: President Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) Sardar Akhtar Mengal has said that no development is discernable in Balochistan as a part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Baloch people should be allowed to elect their representatives: Mengal

He was talking to reporters during his recent visit to Turbat.

Mr Mengal, who is a former chief minister of Balochistan, said that while electing their representatives the people of Balochistan had always faced pressure from the establishment and militant organisations. He said the situation in Balochistan could improve if its people were given a fair chance to elect their true representatives and if their mandate was accepted.

Says BNP-M is prepared to contest forthcoming elections

He said the focus of his party’s politics was a peaceful Balochistan, adding that restoration of peace in the province was possible only when its people were given their due rights.

Mr Mengal expressed concern over the law and order situation in Balochistan, saying that his party was disappointed over the deteriorating security situation in the province.

Holding the establishment and militant organisations responsible for Balochistan’s security concerns, he said nobody gave attention to the causes of the bad security situation in the province.

Mr Mengal said there was a big trust deficit between the Baloch people and the state, adding that the gulf between the two was widening with the passage of time due to discriminatory attitude of Islamabad towards Balochistan.

He said: “There is a dire need to give legitimate rights to the people of Balochistan and efforts should be made to remove the distrust between the state and Baloch people.”

The BNP-M president said the establishment was not serious in holding talks with the disgruntled Baloch leaders and it had not made any serious effort to initiate a dialogue process with them.

He said despite the refusal of the disgruntled Baloch leaders to hold dialogue with the government the rulers should keep trying to convince them for talks.

The BNP-M said his party had conveyed its apprehensions about China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to the rulers, but so far they had done nothing to remove them. The economic corridor project would invite an influx of people from other parts of the country to Balochistan which would change the demography of the province, he said, adding that such a situation would further worsen the already tense political situation in the province.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2018

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