‘Baloch distrust rooted in history’

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Speakers at a seminar said here on Tuesday that two years after the prime minister had announced the Balochistan Rights’ Package, most of the Balochis were still dismissing it by terming it a “joke and insufficient.”
The seminar was organised by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), Islamabad and Actionaid Pakistan, as part of their campaign to raise awareness among masses about the status of implementation of Balochistan Rights’ Package.
The speakers said the roots of Balochis’ nationalism went back to the partition of British India. They underscored that the imposition of state’s authority over Khan of Kalat in 1948 through guns sowed the seeds of disillusionment among Balochis and they turned antagonistic towards the federation.
PPP leader and former senator Taj Haider the relationship between the federation and Balochistan had always been problematic since partition. He opined that the only option the PPP government had was to go for greater reconciliation, rather than confronting the disgruntled Balochis.
He said currently the main issue between the federation and the province was distrust.
Shunning the politics of packages, Senator Dr Abdul Malik Baloch of the National Party said, “Balochis are worried about their identity, and they don’t want economic packages”.
He said that the state should reread history before imposing its will on them since they had never been a part of British India.
“Balochis resisted martial laws and bore the brunt for not subduing before the military dictators”, he added.
Other speakers were of the view that government needed to find political solution to address the political issues like Baloch nationalism and the announcement of economic packages was nothing but a futile exercise.
Several politicians and civil society members including former Balochistan governor Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Quadir and Dr Assem Sajjad participated in the event.