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CM ready for talks with tribal leaders

Jam Mir Yousuf has said that the provincial Govt was ready to hold talks with the tribal leaders for resolving issues concerning Balochistan.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2006 13:14 IST
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Chief Minister of Balochistan, Jam Mir Mohammad Yousuf has said that the provincial government was ready to hold talks with the tribal leaders for resolving issues concerning Balochistan, if the other side wanted to do so.

He said that the government wanted to resolve all issues through negotiations and mutual understanding, adding that every issue could be solved, and the situation improved, if both sides came forward in a positive spirit.

"The government never refused to hold talks and if they wanted talks; people of their parties should come forward," the Dawn quoted him as saying.

He said that the Khan of Kalat should come forward and convene a jirga of tribal chiefs of Sarawan and Jhalawan and try to resolve the issue, adding that he would joint the jirga upon invitation.

He said that on his own, he was not in a position to convene a tribal jirga, despite having the tribal status.

He said that the federal government should take action against elements involved in rocket attacks, bomb explosions, attacks on trains, gas pipelines and other subversion activities, as otherwise it would be difficult to restore law and order in the province, adding that the situation would be normalized soon.

"The government would definitely take action against miscreants, otherwise situation would further deteriorate in the province," he said.

The situation in Balochistan has been grim for quite sometime. The insurgency in the strife torn province flared up as a result of the military operations against the tribal warlords in retaliation to the eight rocket strikes in Kohlu during President Musharraf's visit to the remote town.

There was allegation that the Pakistan was using heavy military action including the use of helicopter gunships and jet fighters to quell the spiralling violence in Balochistan.

The situation worsened with fresh clashes in Dera Bugti between federal forces and Bugti tribesmen. The house of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was also badly damaged in a rocket and mortar attack and a part of the house caught fire, when fighting broke between the nationalists and the government forces.

Heavy weapons were used in the fighting and several rockets and mortar shells landed inside the house of Nawab Bugti.

The attack on fort Bugti led to massive protests against the military actions by the federal government.

Leaders in Pakistan said that the bombardment on Fort Bugti, the abandoned residence of Nawab Akbar Bugti, and its subsequent occupation by the paramilitary forces, had only escalated the acrimony against the federal government.

Veteran politician Sardar Sherbaz Mazari while condemning the army forces' advance on Nawab Bugti's residence, said that "after this action, it is no more the issue of Nawab Bugti alone as it would provoke entire Balochistan... its outcome will not be in the national interest".

Nawab Akbar Bugti, the chief of the Jamhoori Watan Party had also asked for the UN to stop the "genocide" in Balochistan as the federal government had started behaving like an aggressor.

"If the government becomes an aggressor, then the United Nations becomes the sole international body to stop it," he had said.