Musharraf threatening us: Baloch leaders

A BNP leader said General Musharraf had entered the region like a warrior and threatened the Baloch people's honour and dignity.

india Updated: Nov 20, 2006 15:12 IST

Political and tribal leaders across Balochistan have accused President General Pervez Musharraf of "incessantly threatening" the Baloch people instead of narrowing the differences between the province and the federal government.

The Khan of Kalat, Mir Suleman Dawood, in a statement said that General Musharraf's statement during his two-day visit to Balochistan that the government would attack militants 10 times harder in retaliation for a single attack on the government has only strengthened the belief that he is engaged in a military campaign against the Baloch people.

Dawood, who recently convened a jirga of Baloch sardars to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the alleged violation of an agreement signed by the State of Kalat and Pakistan in 1947, accused Musharraf of fighting the "unarmed Baloch ever since he took charge as the head of state".

"We know that Musharraf is powerful enough to use chemical weapons, gunship helicopters and other modern weapons against us, but he seems oblivious to the determination and steadfastness of the Baloch people for the attainment of their rights," the Daily Times quoted him as saying.

He said the Baloch people would not be intimidated by Musharraf's threats because they were "politically more aware than ever before and knew who was usurping their resources".

Dawood also lauded Balochistan Assembly Deputy Speaker Aslam Bhutani's refusal to attend official functions with President Musharraf in Gwadar and Turbat.

"Bhutani has proved himself a real Baloch," he said.

Elsewhere, Balochistan National Party (BNP) Vice President Dr Jehanzaib Jamaldini also said that Musharraf had offended the Baloch people by saying that the government would fire 10 rockets on the Baloch if one rocket were fired on the government.

"This shows that the government is not interested in resolving issues politically and peacefully," Jamaldini said.

He said General Musharraf had entered Balochistan like a warrior and threatened the Baloch people's honour and dignity.

"The Baloch people will never bow before the cruel rulers. We will not give up our struggle for Baloch rights, maximum autonomy and ownership of our coast and resources," Jamaldini added.

First Published: Nov 20, 2006 14:23 IST