Govt takes up Baloch rebels’ activities with UK, Switzerland | Pakistan Today

Govt takes up Baloch rebels’ activities with UK, Switzerland

Notwithstanding Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s offer of amnesty and withdrawal of cases to Baloch nationalist leaders like Baramdagh Bugti and Harbiyar Marri, the government has raised the vital issue of their anti-Pakistan activities with the UK, some other countries in the European Union (EU) and Switzerland.
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who was in London recently, raised the matter of anti-Pakistan activities by Baloch separatist leader Harbiyar Marri, who lives in the UK, and his other aides with British authorities along with a strong protest in this regard.
“Similarly, other Pakistani diplomats have also spoken to Swiss authorities and EU officials on Baloch insurgents’ anti-Pakistan statements, lobbying against Islamabad and their other objectionable activities,” said a Pakistani diplomat on Friday, requesting anonymity.
Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit also spoke about the presence of strong evidence of foreign interference in Balochistan at his weekly press briefing, saying intervention by some external forces was meant to destabilise Balochistan.
Asked whether he thought external forces were involved in creating law and order problems in Balochistan, he said: “There has been evidence about this. The government is cognisant of the issues involved and trying to handle all the issues politically.”
He also dropped a hint at the foreign minister’s bid to raise anti-Pakistan activities by Baloch leaders living in the UK with British officials. “The foreign minister did raise the issue of anti-Pakistan activities in some countries.”
Nonetheless, he refrained from accusing India of creating trouble in Balochistan. Despite a volley of queries pointing to Pakistan’s earlier stance that India had a role in destabilising Balochistan, Basit said the government did not want to engage in public recrimination at this juncture. Asked why Baloch separatist leaders had taken asylum in Europe when Pakistan had traditionally blamed India of supporting them, he said, “Without blaming any country, there has been evidence of foreign powers trying to destabilise Balochistan.
At this stage, it is better not to engage in public recrimination because the government is working very hard to resolve our own internal problems politically.”
To a question whether the issue of Balochistan came under discussion during the meeting of Foreign Minister Khar with Secretary Clinton in London on Thursday, he said, “All issues of mutual interest were discussed. As far as the draft resolution on Balochistan in the sub-committee of the Congress is concerned, this portrayed arrogance and ignorance on the part of a few individuals. Pakistan has made its position very clear. We would not brook interference in our internal affairs.”
“A US Congressional delegation, which called on the prime minister on Thursday, reaffirmed that the tabling of a resolution was an act by a few individuals and cannot represent the will of the Congress. We are confident that this ill-advised and ill-considered moved by a few individuals will not gain any traction and will be rejected by an overwhelming majority,” he said.
Commenting on desecration of the Holy Quran at Bagram base in Afghanistan, he said, “The government and the people of Pakistan condemn the desecration of the Holy Quran in strongest possible terms. The US has apologised at the highest level and assured of a full enquiry. This is absolutely important that such utterly irresponsible and reprehensible acts do not recur.”
On Foreign Minister Khar’s meeting with the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, he said, “The meeting between Foreign Minister Khar and Secretary Clinton was positive and constructive from our perspective. You will agree with me that Pakistan-US relations are important and we are trying to make these relations transparent and predictable. We are waiting for the completion of our parliamentary process. We will proceed further in the light of parliamentary guidelines.”
When his attention was drawn to public statements by American officials that they were running out of patience and that Pakistan was dragging the matter of parliamentary review on ties with US too long, Basit said, “I do not know what they have said publicly. I think they understand and appreciate our position. We expect the parliamentary process to complete soon, in any case sometime during the first half of March 2012.” “As I said earlier, Pakistan-US relations are very important. The meeting in London was positive and constructive. Both the foreign minister and the state secretary discussed entire gamut of relations and issues of mutual interest.

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