Islamabad: Days after a resolution seeking
the right to self-determination for Balochistan was introduced
in the US Congress, Pakistan on Thursday announced that cases
registered against Baloch nationalist leaders would be closed
if they returned to the country.
"Following the reconciliation policy of the
government, I call on Baloch leaders, including Brahamdagh
Bugti and Harbyar Marri, to return to Pakistan to take part in
the political and development process, and I would personally
receive them," Interior Minister Rehman Malik said.
Malik was speaking to reporters after chairing a meeting
to review the implementation of a development package for
Balochistan, which was attended by federal ministers and
Responding to a question, Malik said he had withdrawn all
cases against Marri, except for one. The solution to the
problems of Balochistan is political and the Pakistan People`s
Party-led government is determined to address the issue
through political means, he added.
Pakistan`s top leadership has reacted angrily to the
bill moved in the US House of Representatives by Congressman
Dana Rohrabacher, with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
describing it as an attack on the country`s sovereignty.
On the other hand, Brahamdagh Bugti, currently living
in self-exile in Switzerland, welcomed the resolution and
called on world powers to intervene to resolve the problems of
Malik dispelled the impression created by certain
elements regarding the situation in Balochistan and said: "We
want to bring development in order to ensure stability and
prosperity. We want friends and at the same time, we want to
strengthen Pakistan," he said. He contended that there only 42 persons were
"missing` or detained by security agencies in Balochistan but
the figure had been exaggerated.
A task force is working to trace these "missing
persons", he added.=
"I do not say the situation in the province is
normal but the way it has been propagated and portrayed is not
right," he said while responding to another question.
Malik announced that 15,000 graduates and postgraduates
from Balochistan will be given employment under the Prime
Minister`s Internship Programme and that the federal
government would release Rs 4 billion as a subsidy for
He said the paramilitary Frontier Corps will not
operate in any district of Balochistan without permission from
the deputy commissioner.
No check posts should be established by the Frontier
Corps without permission from the Chief Minister, he said.