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PM Gilani lends all-out support to Baloch reconciliation

07 June, 2011

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QUETTA: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has extended his unqualified support to the process of reconciliation in Balochistan, encouraging Baloch militants to come to terms with the government to return peace in the province.

He said the government was ready for dialogue with the estranged leaders of Balochistan in the larger national interest.

Addressing a news conference before his departure to Islamabad at the Quetta Airport, the premier reiterated his government’s resolve to remove the sense of deprivation of Baloch people by giving them rights and bringing them into the mainstream politics. He said that many projects had been initiated in Balochistan during the tenures of different governments, but these were never completed.

Gilani announced that the next session of the federal cabinet would be held in Quetta, and said he himself would visit Balochistan every month to review development projects, ensure implementation of the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package and review security situation in the province.

He said he had directed all the federal ministers to visit the province and resolve the issues related to their ministries.

The premier said the government was concentrating on improving the law and order situation in Balochistan and his present visit was aimed to assess the same. “You can see that the army is returning and the FC is replacing it in various areas of the province,” he said of the long-standing demand of the people of Balochistan.

About the recovery of bullet-riddled bodies and enforced disappearances, the premier said now merely 38 people were left in the list of missing persons. “The courts are independent and two judicial commissions were already appointed to investigate the cases of missing persons. Those who accuse government functionaries of killing and dumping the bodies must provide evidences to the commissions,” Gilani said in reply to a question.

“We held a meeting of the NFC Award in Gwadar, which reflects the government’s intention to develop Balochistan,” he added.

About the foreign policy, the prime minister said, “We are following the policy in the interest of Pakistan and its people. We want excellent relations with all our neighbours, Afghanistan, India, Iran and China. Our relationship with the United States and other world community is based on mutual respect and mutual interest.”

About terrorism, Gilani said, “Terrorism is a global phenomenon and all countries are united to fight against it. It is not a normal war, but a guerrilla war.”

Regarding the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package, the premier said the federal government was committed to its promise of implementing the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package. He said that under the package, 5,000 Baloch youngsters had been provided employment and 20,000 more youths would be given employment in various federal departments.

Gilani said that China was an important friend and ally of Pakistan, but no agreement had been made to hand over Gwadar Port to it and the statement of the defence minister, in this regard, was in what context he did not know. He said the provincial government would discuss the matter with the federal minister for ports and shipping.

He said a project was underway to connect Gwadar with Ratho Dero and the government was intended to give this project to the FWO.

Responding to another question, Gilani said he had asked US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that giving respect to the resolution passed by parliament regarding the drone attacks was morally binding on the US. He said the US was informed that the government was under pressure and it would be better to transfer drone technology to Pakistan.


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