Zardari moves to defuse Balochistan situation

KARACHI — The beleagured President Asif Ali Zardari, under tremendous pressure over the current volatile situation in the restive Balochistan, has indicated that he was willing to meet Baloch leaders to resolve the decades old issues of the province.

In his latest move the president late on Friday entrusted the task of appeasing the disgruntled Baloch Sardars (clan leaders) living abroad to the provincial governor, Nawabzada Zulfiqar Magsi, to take them into confidence and bring them on board to resolve their grievances.

According to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) sources and government-controlled Radio Pakistan, the president, during the meeting with Magsi, authorised him to convey the message to the Baloch leaders that the government was serious to resolve all the issues of the province through dialogue.

It is also reported in the national Press that the president told Magsi that he was even willing to meet unhappy Baloch leaders and the people to take them into confidence in search of ending the mistrust that existed in the province towards the government.

President Zardari, himself a Baloch, in the past had twice tendered apology to the Baloch people and the PPP government has also offered especial packages but that failed to satisfy the rebel Baloch leaders and the people.

Zardari also advised Balochistan governor to use his influence to “cool down” political atmosphere in the province and one of the goodwill gestures was the recent statement by Interior Minister Rehman Malik that the government was ready to withdrawn cases against the Baloch leaders.

The latest move by the government to control the existing dangerous situation in Balochistan came after an American Senator tabled a resolution in the US Congress that had been highlighted inside the country and abroad by the media.

However, the Baloch leaders living in exile in Europe and Afghanistan had rejected the latest Islamabad initiatives claiming that they had no trust in the present government owing to its past record.

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