I never appealed to Baloch rebels to lay down arms: Mengal


Balochistan National Party President Sardar Akhtar Mengal has said he has not appealed to the Baloch rebels to lay down their arms.
He was speaking at a luncheon he hosted for journalists at his residence on Tuesday. He said that when he did not consider the situation secure for him and his party workers how he could guarantee for others.
Party leaders Dr Jahanzeb Jamaldini, Sajid Tareen, Agha Hasan, Sana Baloch, Malik Wali Kakar and Jawaid Baloch were also present. Mengal said that in several English newspapers he was wrongly quoted that he had appealed to the Baloch rebels to lay down their arms after descending from mountains. He said that neither he could ask the Baloch rebels to descend from the mountains nor anyone pressure his party workers to go to mountains. He said, “In what capacity I will appeal to the rebels as they adopted other mode of struggle for achieving Baloch rights while we believed in parliamentary struggle.”
The Baloch leader rejected the impression that the Balochistan issue would be resolved in the wake of active participation of his party in elections and said that he did not want to spread negative impression. He said the issue was not taken seriously rather it was tried to resolve through killings of Baloch youth and throwing their mutilated bodies.
He expressed concern over European Union not to send their observers during the elections in the wake of prevailing situation of KP and Balochistan and they should reconsider their decision. He said that EU had always been playing an active role for human rights by sending their observers in war like situation in the Middle East. He said that if the world community wanted to resolve the Balochistan issue peacefully they should send their observers to Balochistan for election monitoring, but they should also highlight human rights abuses/violation in Balochistan.
Mengal said that a particular force was involved in Balochistan’s problems and disruption in the elections and if that force wished, peaceful, fair and free elections were not impossible. He added that when party workers were confined to their houses then who would run election campaign. He said that his party had already expressed reservations and it was possible that his party would take any decision before polls.
He said that none should label BNP leaders and workers as traitors for going into polls and added that yesterday’s traitors had become very much patriots as loyalty certificates could not be obtained from anyone forcibly. He said that the BNP would not desist from its stand and ideology. He said that his party workers had taken into custody armed men who were planning to attack him during his movement in Quetta. He said the armed men were handed over to the police, but the police denied as usual like the government, agencies and Frontier Corps had been denying their involvement in killing of Baloch youth.
When asked about his deal with military establishment, the BNP leader said, “We did not know kite flying so were unaware of deal or ‘dheal’.” He said that the real powers in fact presented Baloch nationalists as terrorists and the purpose of his party decision to take part in the elections was to dispel such impression. To another question, he said his party leaders would make seat-to- seat adjustment with other parties and individuals.
About handing over of Gwadar Port to China and Pak-Iran pipeline project, Mengal said that both agreements were made during governor’s rule in Balochistan without taking Baloch people into confidence. He said that the Baloch were not bound to accept such agreements as beneficiaries would be the people of Punjab and Sindh.