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Voices of dissent

The Pakistan government is facing uneasy times with key allies like MQM as well as other political parties over its policies in Balochistan.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2006 18:58 IST
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The Pakistan government is facing uneasy times with key allies as well as other political parties opposing itspolicies in Balochistan.

Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM)

The MQM had demanded that the government cease the "military operation" against the people in Balochistan and drop the plan to build the controversial Kalabagh dam.

The MQM, however, dropped its ultimatum to quit the government by January 14 after President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz spoke to MQM supreme leader Altaf Hussain, who lives in exile in London since early 1990s.

During his lengthy telephonic conversation with Musharraf and Aziz, Hussain was reportedly assured that "only those dams will be constructed that have won the consensus of all the provinces" and "no army operation will be conducted in Balochistan and no action against the Balochi people".

Hussain has close relations with Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti who had backed the MQM and protected its leaders when they were on the receiving end in the mid 90s.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)

(PML-N) parliamentarian Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said President Pervez Musharraf's recent statement that the "writ of the government" will be restored in Balochistan indicated that a bigger military operation might be on the cards.

He said if Islamabad chose to resolve the on-going crisis through force, it could have serious consequences for the country, internally as well as externally.

Pakistan, he said, was passing through a defining moment and was faced with fateful choices.

"Its people should therefore muster the collective will to redress inequity and injustice rampant in the country, which breeds despair and despondency."

Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians (PPPP)

The party is of the opinion that dialogue is the only solution to the Balochistan problem and the military operation could prove fatal for Pakistan.

PPPP's Punjab President Qasim Zia says that President Pervez Musharraf is following the principle of divide and rule, but would soon have to be accountable to the nation.

He says Musharraf claims to be fighting terrorism, but has also started an operation in Balochistan. He adds that killing Balochis is not a service to the country or any region and Pakistan's rulers should not forget that they shall not remain in power forever.