Baloch leader Sardar Akhtar Mengal put forth his six-point charter for the resolution of problems in Balochistan, in the Supreme Court last week. The charter demands an end to forced disappearances; that ‘death squads’ working in the province be disbanded; to allow Baloch political parties to function and resume their political activities without interference from intelligence agencies; persons responsible for inhuman torture, killing and dumping of bodies of Baloch political leaders and activists should be brought to justice; and measures should be initiated for rehabilitation of thousands of displaced Baloch living in appalling condition.
While the points raised by Mengal have brought hope for some form of reconciliation on the Balochistan issue, the response, if any, from the security agencies and the establishment will be key to revealing if any real progress will be made.
Political parties and their leaders have come forward to support Mengal, especially the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf. However, the government has continued on its stance that there is no involvement of security agencies in the disappearances and target killings in Balochistan, with government officials condemning Mengal’s statements.
Interior Minister Rahman Malik has said that the government is ‘serious on the issue of recovering the missing persons and that all valid grievances of the former chief minister of Balochistan, Sardar Akhtar would be addressed” but no progress has been made.
Hearing on the Balochistan missing persons’ case resumes on October 8, and it remains to be seen what turn the case will take after Mengal’s appearance and statements.
How will Sardar Mengal’s appearance before the court and his six-point charter affect the situation in Balochistan?
Will the government take note of the grievances, now that its political opponents have also supported Mengal’s stance?
Is the support from the political parties being voiced in order to garner support before the elections?
Who are the true representatives of the Baloch people? How can the inhabitants’ voice be heard?
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