Friday, April 1

‘Ensure their rights’

Hafiz Riaz Durrani says there is a dire need to change the mentality of a coterie in the federal capital to resolve the Balochistan imbroglio

The Central Information Secretary of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) Hafiz Riaz Durrani is of the opinion that the Federal Government is responsible for most of the ills afflicting Balochistan. No doubt, the Baloch nationalists do have their share in the blame. He said: -
“The real issue is that provinces have not been given their due rights since independence. In the Centre, there is a section of people, which wants to keep all the provinces under their total control. It was because their policies that we saw the debacle of Dhaka. Even to this date, the same coterie is holding the fort in Islamabad and consistently following the same policies that caused break-up this country. To resolve the present Balochistan quagmire, we need to change those policies. Presently, they are just holding and anchoring talk shows and not taking any concrete steps rather their effort is to continue the same policies, which caused the 1971 tragedy. Remember! The present Balochistan issue is not a natural outcome rather these have been staged to surface at a particular juncture. The Federal Government supported the tribal system in every possible manner. It is because of this that the province is in miserable poverty. Being biggest party of Balochistan, JUI (F) did made some tangible efforts to alleviate poverty and handle other issues.
“Army's policies broke the country, which couldn't defend our geographical frontiers. The responsibility of the debacle of Dhaka falls on the army. Again it is following the same policies, which will break the country again.
“Don’t ask what blunders have the government committed! The question is: have they done any thing right? The answer is big NO! Every possible wrong they committed. The government did not invest in health, education and employment sectors. Even if an effort was made, its proteges thwarted those attempts. That is why one can see humanity at its lowest ebb in the province. Certain parts of Balochistan are not even part of any the Third World country. It is far far below to that.
“Who is a nationalist? In reality, all the Baloch nationalists are Sardars of various tribes, who have exploited the Balochis. They all are wealthy and prosperous today and the masses are the worst sufferers. They made it certain that the masses do not get education and employment.
As far as the idea of ‘No vote right’ for the settlers for the next 20 years if the Gwadar Project goes ahead is concerned, to me this is a trivial issue. Look! Development in any part of the country will bring mass movement to that particular place, which has happened every where already. The same phenomenon will be repeated here as well. My apprehension is that it will be marred by mismanagement as was done in earlier instances. Fears of Balochis should be ameliorated and substantial chances must be provided for masses’ development. Royalty is their right, which is ought to be paid promptly. In the present influx of money, NWFP is being ignored, which is another injustice to a small province.
“All revenue generated from Balochistan projects, both natural and man-made, is the right of the Provincial Government, who in turn should pay to the Centre according to size of its population.
“Dispensation of the Constitutional rights to Balochistan and other provinces is part of the JUI (F) manifesto. We believe that the 1973 Constitution is not the final document, and can be amended, but if it is not possible, then we should give what is already documented in the Constitution. Remember! By giving the due constitutional rights, we can resolve all our provincial issues.”

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