ISLAMABAD - The speakers and participants of a national workshop underlined the need to fulfil aspirations of more than 90 per cent patriotic Baloch people who are being ignored under duress of anti-state elements.
Speaking on the second day of the workshop entitled ‘Balochistan Situation: Perceptions and Realities – The Way Forward’ organized by National Defence University here, the speakers opined that anti-state elements involved in sabotage activities and killing of innocent people should not be given undue importance and coverage. A large number of participants from Balochistan, including ministers, MNAs, senators, MPAs, political and tribal leaders, academics, journalists and senior civil and military officials, attended the workshop.
Senate Chairman Nayyar Hussain Bokhari who was the chief guest at the concluding session said that all political problems should be solved through dialogue. The speakers said that the system of governance in Balochistan needs definite improvement for which there should be an effective mechanism to monitor the utilisation of funds in Balochistan so that the benefits of financial packages offered to the province must go down to the common people. Fair, free and transparent elections must be ensured in the province in which all parties, including nationalist parties, particularly those who bear allegiance to the state of Pakistan, should have fair opportunities, they added.
On law and order, it was stated that effective legislation should be carried out both at federal and provincial levels for dealing with non-state actors and other terrorist groups.
Legislation should also bridge the gaps which may help in effective utilization of the law-enforcing agencies, including the armed forces, in maintaining and upholding the government writ.
Giving recommendations for economic development of the province, they said that a comprehensive and time-framed developmental program for the rapid development of Balochistan should be initiated. The politicians should be asked to identify the projects which should be implemented through an independent implementing body constituted by the federal government and there should be proper scrutiny and accountability of the funds.
About natural resources of Balochistan, they recommended that these resources must be spent first for the people of Balochistan and then for the entire Pakistan, if need be.
Highlighting the importance of education for Baloch people, they suggested that in order to bring this province at par with other provinces, education should remain on the top of policy agenda. It is education which will eventually emancipate the new generation from social, economic and political bondage.
They also commended Pakistan Army and FC for promoting educational infrastructure in the province.
The said that generous exchange programmes should be initiated for the youth of Balochistan in other provinces to broaden their outlook and equip them with the requisite skills to compete with the rest of Pakistan. All government and private universities of the entire Balochistan should be provided with full security so that they can freely impart education to the students in a congenial environment, they said. On the role of media, they said that there was a general consensus among the participants that media personnel in Balochistan operate under extreme threats from militants, so they should adopt objectivity, balance and proportion during their coverage of any event.