'We won?t talk to Pak at gunpoint' | india | Hindustan Times
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'We won?t talk to Pak at gunpoint'

india Updated: Jul 13, 2006 18:31 IST
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Baloch nationalist leader and President of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) Sardar Akhtar Mengal has rejected the federal government's plans to review the Parliamentary Committee on Balochistan.

He demanded a complete withdrawal of federal troops from Dera Bugti and Sui districts as a pre-condition to any political settlement of the ongoing crisis in the province.

He said the government was indulging in a political gimmick and Balochis would not fall for them anymore.

"It's an absolute political gimmick. We won't talk to Islamabad at gunpoint. How can we talk to the military government when it is killing our innocent people and demolishing their homes?

The Committee has completely lost its credibility due to its inability to present its recommendations even one and a half years after its formation," the Daily Times quoted Sardar Mengal as saying.

Sardar Mengal, a former Chief Minister of Balochistan also accused Islamabad of not being serious about finding a political solution to the crisis.

His statements carry significance as Sardar Attaullah Mengal had recently said that the situation in Balochistan had reached to a point of no return and Balochis did not want to remain a part of the federation any more.

"Who will compensate for the hundreds of lives that we lost during the ongoing military operation? Who will rebuild our homes?

Though we presented our recommendations to the parliamentary committee, they were totally snubbed," Sardar Akhtar Mengal added.

He said initially all the nationalist leaders in the province had welcomed the formation of the Committee, however, this goodwill had evaporated when the body inordinately delayed considering their recommendations and the government began its military assault in Sui, Dera Bugti and Marri areas.

"Once the Mushahid-led Committee tabled its recommendations, instead of implementing these recommendations, the government further intensified the military operation by using sophisticated US weapons to kill the Baloch," he added.

He said the Baloch leadership would agree to negotiations with the federal government only on the condition that Islamabad declared an armistice and withdrew all troops from the province.

"If that is done, the Baloch leadership would then decide whether or not to talk to Islamabad," he further said.

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