Govt renews talks offer to Baloch
14 July, 2012
QUETTA: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Friday offered an olive branch to the disgruntled Baloch leaders to hold dialogue with the government for an amicable solution of the Balochistan issue.
Addressing the provincial cabinet meeting at the Chief Minister's Secretariat, the prime minister said the use of force was not the right way to handle any problem.
"Only dialogue and constructive talks can steer the province out of prevailing crisis," he added.
However, he categorically rejected to hold dialogue with those who talk against the country's sovereignty.
"We have to identify forces, which are supporting the handful elements to create lawlessness in Balochistan," he observed.
The prime minister said that there were some external and internal forces involved in creating unrest in the province and they could only be defeated with combined efforts and political wisdom.
He said that prevailing law and order situation was the result of unwise and anti-Baloch policies of dictators, bringing the province on the verge of destruction.
"Balochistan is on the priority list of the government," he said, while reiterating the government's pledge to remove the decades-long grievances of the people of the largest province of the country.
Referring to the initiation of mega projects by the federal government in Balochistan, Raja said that the PPP-led government had been taking serious interest in the development of the province since it came into power. The provincial ministers pointed out that the projects of Reko Diq, Kacchi Canal, Gwadar-Rato Dero road and Zhob-Dera Ismail Khan transmission line needed to be completed on priority. The prime minister assured early completion of the development projects.
The issue of shortage of drinking water was also raised. On this, the prime minister said that the completion of Mirani Dam would provide 200 million gallons of additional drinking water to the people. Raja said that he would also get an update on the steps being taken by the Pakistan Navy to meet the needs of drinking water for the people of Gwadar and Ormara.
He said Balochistan was enriched with natural resources and it was now constitutionally empowered to get benefit from its mines and minerals.
"The local people should be the beneficiary of the Reko Diq, copper and other mineral projects launched in Balochistan," he added.
On law and order situation, he said the government was committed to resolving the Balochistan issue and added that anti-peace elements would not succeed in their nefarious designs and they would be dealt with an iron hand.
Stressing the need for the role of political parties for strengthening of democracy in the country, the prime minister urged them to fight against the issues being faced by the common man.
Law and order is a provincial subject and the federal government will fully assist the provincial government in this regard, he said, adding that the Frontier Corp could not work against the wishes of the Balochistan chief minister.
Raja said that his government believed that a prosperous Balochistan would lead to a prosperous Pakistan and the province was rich in gold, copper, gas and oil.
He said the people of Pakistan needed to stand united and foil the attempts of those who were trying to sow the seeds of hatred.
The prime minister also condemned the blast at a rally earlier in the day and said it was sending a wrong message to the world about the law and order situation in the country.