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Zardari suggests state handle Balochistan carefully

Zardari suggests state handle Balochistan carefully

LAHORE: PPP Parliamentarians President Asif Ali Zardari has cautioned that the state should act carefully in Balochistan as any untoward incident in the province may spin the situation out of control.

"The state needs to be more careful in Balochistan. If another Akbar Bugti-like incident happens, it will be difficult to handle the situation."

He was talking to PPP Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira and General Secretary Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmed on telephone on Tuesday.He discussed in detail the latest situation and party affairs in Punjab.

Zardari said he did not commit any crime when he, as head of state, had apologised to the Baloch.

“I thought it was my responsibility to bring the angry Baloch back into the national mainstream. All the nationalist parties in Balochistan boycotted the 2008 polls. But, with our efforts, all the Baloch parties returned to the national mainstream in the 2013 elections.”

He said the PPP was talking to Balochistan National Party-Mengal chief Akhtar Mengal because he is in parliament.

“The PPP is still ready to play its role in solving the problems of Balochistan. Our only condition is that the Baloch return to national politics and renounce armed struggle.

The former president regretted that instead of strengthening the provinces, the federal government was weakening them. The 18th Amendment knitted together the federation, while the National Finance Commission Award strengthened that bond, he added.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2020

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