To End Baloch Impasse, Bugti Offers Unconditional Talks with Pakistan
KALAT, Balochistan -- The senior Baloch leader and influential tribal chief Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, as a gesture of peace, extended an olive branch to Pakistan by offering unconditional talks with the military dictatorship of General Pervez Musharraf.
Bugti said that he is ready for dialogues with the Pakistani military rulers to restore peace and end the political and socio-economic stalemate in Balochistan. To create a favorable atmosphere for peace talks, he has asked for the removal of troops from the affected areas. He emphasized that peace talks could not take place at gunpoint.
But, Musharraf and his generals are not relenting. Over the past 58 years of occupation of Balochistan by Pakistan, Balochistan has been in the throes of political instability over a demand for self-determination and non-exploitation of its valuable mineral and natural gas resources. Majority of the Baloch leaders believe that they have been denied their political, civil, legal and administrative rights by the oppressive government of Pakistan.
Over the past year, the Pakistani armed forces have sought to tighten their grip over Balochistan, and in the process more than 200 innocent people were killed and over 4,000 activists were arrested. The law and order situation in Balochistan is getting from bad to worse, and the Pakistani authorities are rampantly committing human rights violations against the Baloch people.
Bugti has decided not to leave Balochistan, and he is determined to serve the Baloch nation. Bugti said that he and his colleagues are defending themselves against unnecessary attacks by the Pakistani armed forces. He and several members of his immediate family have been forced to move out of their homes to live in caves in the mountains. And now, the Pakistani government is in the process of filing false cases against him and his associate to justify their extra-judicial arrests.
Mir Azaad Khan Baloch
The Government of Balochistan in Exile