BNP chief claims CPEC, in current scenario, offering nothing to Balochistan; says he’s ready to support govt if it empowers the Baloch to make their own decisionsBalochistan National Party chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal said on Sunday that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was offering nothing to Balochistan and aimed at building a modern Punjab.
“Our party would not accept any development projects, including the CPEC, which could turn the majority of Balochistan’s people into a minority,” Mengal told journalists at the Karachi Press Club.
Mengal urged the federal government to allow Balochistan and all other provinces to make important decisions about different projects including the CPEC.
“The government has not even bothered to allocate funds for providing drinking water to Gwadar,” he noted.
“The situation reflects the mindset and planning of the federal government and Chinese investors.”
Mengal said he was ready to support the government if it empowered the Baloch to make decisions about their resources and coast.
He said any project harmful to the people’s interests would be opposed. Mengal said his party wanted to see an educated and prosperous Balochistan. “We believe in a peaceful struggle because issues can never be resolved through the use of force.”
Mengal alleged that Balochistan had always been treated as a colony since 1947 and people had been handpicked to rule the province. “Such leaders have always protected their own interests at the cost of the interests of the common people.”
The BNP leader said there was hopelessness in Balochistan. “People are losing their confidence in the parliament and politicians. In such a scenario, using arm-twisting as a tactic can backfire and go against the province and the country,” he added
Mengal said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not interested in Balochistan. Similarly, he added that Nawaz Sharif is not interested in Kashmir. “Both are playing politics.”
Mengal said had the six-points raised in September 2012 been accepted, the situation in Balochistan would not have deteriorated.
“If a development project provides employment for the people of Balochistan, we will accept it. But it is unacceptable to us if it turns us into a minority in our own province.”
He said Gwadar still received electricity from Iran and there was no water. “Despite all this, the project is being highlighted as the best thing that has happened to the people there.”
Mengal said development projects should not built be at the cost of losing people.
“Our demands are still the same. Stop target killings and provide jobs for the people. We have raised this issue in the APC as well. We are working for the people of Balochistan’s right to self-determination.”