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Nawaz sets tough terms to attend APC; Brahamdagh rejects

23 February, 2012

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LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief, Mian Nawaz Sharif, has conditioned participation in the All Parties Conference with the trial of Nawab Akbar Bugti' assassins and concrete steps for the recovery of missing persons.

Talking to a private TV channel before leaving for Umrah, Nawaz Sharif said that seeking an apology was not a solution of the Balochistan problems, rather these problems must be taken seriously and addressed.

"I have already conveyed to Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani that instead of announcing a package for the Baloch people, their grievances would have to be addressed," Nawaz asserted.

To a question, he said that US resolution had deteriorated the Pak-US relations instead of mending them. "Balochistan is a part of Pakistan and every Pakistani is concerned about it," Nawaz said.

"Before talking about foreign hands, we will have to review our policies," he suggested.

Nawaz also expressed concern over the issue of missing persons and asked the government to take concrete steps for the recovery of missing persons.

Meanwhile, praising an American congressman for moving a resolution seeking right to self-determination for Balochistan, Baloch Republican Party (BRP) chief Nawabzada Brahamdagh Bugti on Wednesday rejected an All-parties Conference (APC) on the issue.

"On one hand, Pakistani forces are brutally killing Baloch people and throwing away their bullet-riddled and mutilated bodies while on the other they are calling for an APC," he said while addressing a telephonic press conference at Quetta Press Club from Switzerland. "We can't be fooled to attend the APC.

The US congressman's resolution is not against the sovereignty of Pakistan. Every country has the right to interfere or intervene in a country where state-sponsored human rights violations are ongoing."

The BRP leader said the outburst of Pakistani rulers and politicians on the issue is a move to "protect the sovereignty of Punjab". "It is ironic that politicians such as Nawaz Sharif have now realised the worsening security situation in Balochistan. There have been discussions on TV channels and the print media about Balochistan. It is all because they [politicians] are now worried about the sovereignty of Punjab and want to protect Punjab's interests."

"America must intervene in Balochistan and stop the ethnic cleansing of Baloch people," he added. He said Baloch women, political leaders, activists, students, writers, poets, professors and intellectuals were being subjected to enforced disappearances and their mutilated and built-riddled bodies are found on a daily basis.

"Under such circumstances, we will welcome the support of foreign countries whether it be India, America or NATO," the 30-year-old self-exiled leader told reporters. The BRP chief, who recently sought asylum in Switzerland, said security forces and government must allow the free movement of media, international humanitarian organisations and common people to restive Dera Bugti, Kohlu and other areas.

He said Baloch leaders are wrongfully accused of getting support of India or other foreign countries. "However, considering the brutalities against the Baloch nation, we will welcome the support of any country."

Bugti said the ethnic cleansing of Baloch people was ongoing and "we should, therefore, stand up and fight against usurpers and Pakistani forces and continue our struggle until we get independence".

Bugti asked Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Ali Magsi and Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani to join the Baloch movement and set aside their "temporary and personal interest because they will get nothing in Pakistan except for humiliation". "Baloch politicians who do not want to join our struggle should resign from parliament and sit quietly," he said.

The BRP chief slammed the Difa-e-Pakistan Council for announcing a public gathering on February 27 to show solidarity with Baloch people. "Where were the jihadi people when Baloch women, children and youth were being picked up and brutally killed by security forces," he said.


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