Social truce need of hour to save country
July 06, 2012
Extrajudicial arrests, missing persons, bullet ridden bodies, sectarian target killings, lawlessness, and abduction for ransom and Baloch Pakhtoon conflict has suddenly increase the political temperature of the city.
Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chairman Mahmood Khan Achakzai warned on Monday (June 25) that the country was passing through a dangerous phase and it was the need of the hour to take wise decisions to resolve contentious issues.
Addressing a public meeting, he said Pakistan comprised Pakhtuns, Baloch, Sindhis, Seraikis and Punjabis and a new social contract should be worked out among the nationalities in order to put them in control of their resources.
He said all divided areas of Pakhtuns should form a new province and until such time it should be ensured that they got the same rights in all spheres of life as being enjoyed by the Baloch so that both communities could live in harmony and peace.
The PkMAP chief warned that if equal rights of Pakhtuns in the province were not accepted then they could themselves declare their separate province.
He said the PkMAP was in favour of Islam and Pakistan but added that recognition of the rights of five nationalities would strengthen the federation.
He said Pakistan was isolated at the international level because of its wrong policies and emphasized that the country should revisit its policies.
Mr Achakzai said there should be no role for the military and intelligence agencies in politics and politicians should be allowed to deal with political issues and serve society.
He said the government had failed to solve problems being faced by people.
The PkMAP leader condemned the killing of innocent people, kidnapping for ransom and killing of Pakhtun traders and transporters in the Baloch-dominated areas of the province, adding that such inhuman acts would only deepen differences between the two communities.
If Pashtuns’ sameness not acknowledged, will make announcement of separate province: Achakzai
If Pashtuns sameness will not be acknowledged in Balochistan then we will be compelled to make announcement of a separate province for them, said Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) Chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai.
Achakzai said in his address that this day we want to save the country instead of breaking it into pieces but Pakistan has turned alone at the foreign front and a new social truce is a need of the hour to save the country.
All people including Punjabis, Sindhis, Saraekis, Balochs and Pashtuns shall be rendered control over their resources as separate but united autonomous national entities will render guarantee of Pakistan’s integrity and safety, added the PKMAP Chairman.
“Army and secret agencies’ role must be eliminated from the politics to strengthen the democracy and the parliamentary system in the country,” added Mehmood Khan Achakzai.
The other leaders of the PKMAP demanded, while addressing the rally, a separate province for the Pashtuns living in Balochistan.
Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) Acting President Jahanzaib Jamaldini said the Baloch were being converted into a minority in the province through a conspiracy.
"Millions of Afghan refugees have been enlisted as locals in the recent house-listing, which was rejected by the BNP-M, and the party will resist the conspiracies against Balochistan," Jamaldini said while addressing a press conference at the Quetta Press Club on Tuesday.
He said that through a conspiracy on the part of Islamabad, Afghan refugees had been settled across Balochistan, and they had obtained NICs and passports without any hurdle. "There are more than four million Afghan refugees and most of them are not registered," he said, adding that inclusion of Afghan refugees in the recent house-listing should be cancelled.
The BNP-M leader said the population of Pashtun districts had been increased manifold in the recent census as compared to the last census of 1998 to convert the Baloch populations into minority. "The population of Qila Abdullah district, according to the 1998 census, is 370,269, while the new population shows it to be 2,138,997, which shows a 447.7 percent increase," he said, adding that they rejected the census and demanded immediate cancellation of registration of the Afghan refugees in the province.
Responding to a question regarding the new Pashtun province, Jamaldini said that they had no objection to formation of a Pashtun province consisting of Pashtun districts, however, the demand should be made from Islamabad, not from the Baloch. "Besides formation of new provinces, the areas of Balochistan, including Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur, should be incorporated into the province," he added.
"The statistic secretary in Islamabad has confessed on record that big irregularities have been made in the recent house-listing in Balochistan," he said, adding that they had great respect for Afghan refugees but they needed to be repatriated to their country.
To a query, he said that 70 percent Baloch lived in Sindh, 28 percent in Punajb and six percent in Kyber Pakhtunkhwa, but they never demanded that Sindh should be called a Baloch-Sindhi province or Punjab should be called a Baloch-Punjabi province.
"The Baloch are in a state of war. Thousands of people have gone missing and hundreds of bodies have been recovered. In such a situation, demanding a new province is tantamount to rubbing salt on the wounds of the Baloch," the BNP-M leader remarked.
To another query about the upcoming elections, he said that BNP-M was a democratic party and would adopt all democratic means for the rights of the people of Balochistan.
Earlier, Fouzia Marri, along with her companions, announced to join the BNP-M.
President of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) and the former chief minister of Balochistan Sardar Akhtar Mengal has termed Pashtun nationalist leader Mahmood Khan Achakzai’s remarks contrary to the political vision of his own father, Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai who spent his entire life struggling against Punjab’s domination over smaller provinces and their oppressed people.
The BNP chief said the Frontier Corps, which was responsible for killing and dumping the Baloch youth, almost entirely comprised of Pashtu-speakers from FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) and Khyber Pakhtunkhaw province. Yet, the Balochs never blamed the Pashtuns who live in Balochistan. The underdevelopment of both the Balochs and Pashtuns, he added, is because of Punjab’s domination over the federation and blatant denial to grant the people their right to self-determination.
Meanwhile Pashtuns have their share of problems like the ever growing crime, the spillover of Afghanistan in the shape of talibanisation, drugs and arms smuggling. But the nature of their issues is different from the ones that Baloch face. Insurgency hardly exists in Pashtun areas. Never has. Here it is more kidnappings for ransom than target killings. This goes without saying that they are equally weary of army’s over reach in Balochistan and want more power and resources for the province. But their bigger grouse is now directed against the estranged bedfellows-the Baloch.
Pashtuns feel they are being held back and squeezed by Baloch. “We don’t have any insurgency in our areas,” says Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami’s former Senator Raza Mohammad, “why should we suffer; Pashtuns are the biggest ethnic group and they should be adjusted in jobs and quotas accordingly.”
Serious circle believe that it makes sense that Baloch should support the continuation of the affirmative action of sorts through district quotas. This is the only way Baloch can try to match Pashtun dominance such being the nature of their reality. The total collapse of law and order, the rampant targeted killings and bomb explosions in Baloch areas has exacted a huge tall on ordinary people.
The reality of Baloch and Pashtuns, it seems, is going to grow further apart.