Pak will walk extra mile, PM Ashraf says over Balochistan

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 23:14

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday offered to hold talks with "estranged elements" in Balochistan but said his government would not allow a handful of persons to hold the people of the restive province hostage.

The people of Pakistan will go an extra mile to redress the grievances of Balochistan, he said.

At the same time, Ashraf made it clear that the unrest in Balochistan was an "internal issue" that would be amicably resolved by the government and the people of Pakistan through "collective wisdom" and by standing united.

The premier made the remarks while addressing a workshop on the theme "Balochistan situation - Perception and realities, the way forward" at the National Defence University.

He contended that the unrest in Balochistan was "foreign abetted" and said: "The state and people of Pakistan are capable of solving their problems and would assert their sovereign right and independence in dealing with their domestic problems."

The unrest in small pockets of Balochistan could not be equated with insurgency, though it could have a "simmering impact on other areas if not tackled immediately", he said.

The situation in Balochistan should be seen in its true perspective in view of its internal and external linkages, he added.

"There is not one, but many fronts on which we need to fight for the cause of the people of Balochistan," Ashraf said.

He asked the "few angry youngsters" involved in negative activities within the country and abroad "not to fall prey to the intrigues of detractors of Pakistan".
"The entire Pakistan is yours. Come and talk to your own government. You will not be disappointed," he said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 23:14

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