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CM invites self-exiled Baloch leaders to ‘negotiating table’

CM invites self-exiled Baloch leaders to ‘negotiating table’

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri has once again invited self-exiled Baloch leaders to the negotiating table for resolving their issues.

Speaking at the concluding session of a two-day seminar on ‘Prospects of Peace and Prosperity in Balochistan’, organised by Devote Balochistan and University of Balochistan, he said the government was ready to hold dialogue with the estranged leaders within the constitutional framework.

He said the presence of Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif as a key participant in the seminar, along with commander, Southern Command, the inspector general of the Frontier Corps (FC), federal and provincial minsters, columnists and journalists was a proof that the military and civilian leaders were equally keen on restoration of peace in Balochistan.

“I empower Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed to approach self-exiled angry leaders and initiate talks with them,” Mr Zehri said, adding that he believed negotiations, and not bullet, was the solution to the concerns of disgruntled Baloch leaders.

He said he had always invited people for talks and nothing could be done if anyone was not ready for this.

“Pakistan belongs to all of us,” he said, adding that his father had rendered sacrifices for the federation with bravery and fortitude.

“People of Balochistan are patriots but a wrong impression has been created in this connection and today’s seminar is aimed at proving how peaceful this province and its people are,” the chief minister said.

Mr Zehri lauded FC personnel, police and civilians and paid tribute to over 600 security personnel who had sacrificed their lives for the safety and security of the province.

Praising Punjabis for not raising their voice over the killing, according to him, of 5,000 settlers and migration of another 100,000, Mr Zehri said: “We began getting targeted when we raised our voice over their killings.”

He said his government would rehabilitate the people who had migrated from the province due to the law and order situation.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a matter of national interest which should not be made controversial, he said.

Acknowledging the dilapidated condition of roads, he said, the CPEC would bring prosperity and development. “We need to build infrastructure and ensure facilities like roads, electricity and water to attract investors.”

Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2016

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