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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gilani renews talks offer to ‘angry Baloch’

QUETTA: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani renewed on Tuesday his offer of dialogue to ‘angry’ Baloch leaders and said he was even ready to go to their doorstep to listen to their grievances.

Talking to reporters after attending a passing-out parade at the EME Centre of Baloch youths inducted into the army after completion of training, Mr Gilani said: “Angry Baloch leaders are our brothers and we are ready to go to their doorstep to resolve issues through dialogue.”

He said he had asked Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani to hold talks with angry Baloch brethren, adding that the government would remove the sense of deprivation among the people of Balochistan and bring them to the national mainstream.

However, he said, some elements wanted to create unrest and fan hatred in Balochistan, but no-one would be allowed to subvert peace in the province. “I appeal to those creating disturbance to adopt the path of peace and pave the way for speedy development of Balochistan.”

He said the country was facing a difficult situation because some people had taken the path of terrorism and were tarnishing the image of Pakistan and Islam. “The agenda of these people is not the agenda of Pakistan.” The prime minister said those who did not accept the government’s peace offer must understand that they would delay the process of development and prosperity in Balochistan. “They can create hurdles, but cannot deprive the people of their rights and stop development.”

Mr Gilani said he was dissatisfied with the law and order situation in the province and had directed the provincial government to maintain peace in Balochistan. He also asked the provincial administration to submit a report regarding alleged involvement of foreign hands in the unrest in Balochistan.

Answering a question about recovery of bullet-riddled bodies of Baloch political activists, he said the provincial government had been asked to look into the matter. Another important issue is that of missing persons and the government is trying to solve this problem. A commission on missing persons headed by a senior judge of the Supreme Court is working on it.

About relations with Afghanistan, Mr Gilani said Pakistan had cordial ties with that country and was working to evolve a joint strategy to fight terrorism.

He said Pakistan had already offered help in investigation into the assassination of Prof Burhanuddin Rabbani which had affected the peace process in Afghanistan.

Pakistan-US relations, he said, were being improved and strengthened. “These relations are moving in a positive direction.”(

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