‘Govt trying to start talks with Baloch politicians’
By Azizullah Khan
QUETTA: The federal government has approached Balochistan’s politicians for the resolution of controversial issues, Nawab Akbar Bugti said on Sunday.
Bugti told Daily Times on the phone that Tariq Aziz, principal secretary to President Pervez Musharraf, called him on Saturday and conveyed the government’s message to him. Bugti said it was the first ever contact between the two sides and that he was trying to asses whether the government was sincere. Asked if the government had started the dialogue process, he said it was only the beginning. “I can only guess that a process to open dialogue is in progress, but I will stress that it should be based on serious and sincere efforts”, he added.
Bugti said he discussed various issues including Gwadar with Aziz. He said the government had realised that local people were disaffected with the centre. “The Balochistan governor had conveyed us a threatening message which failed to impress us,” Bugti said sarcastically, while making a reference to a previous attempt from the federal government to influence him. He hoped that the latest initiative from the federal government would yield positive results.
The Balochistan governor and chief minister held a meeting with the corps commander a few days ago. Nationalist leaders Sardar Sanaullah Zehri from the National Party and Majid Achakzai from the Pukhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party also called on the corps commander at Corps Headquarters. Sources said that the corps commander would meet other politicians as well.