ISLAMABAD - Hinting at conspiracies against the incumbent political dispensation in the country, Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has stressed the need for uniting democratic forces to frustrate the designs of non-democratic elements, which are out to destabilise the system.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Dr Abdul Malik said that non-democratic elements are out to destabilise the system. He called upon the political forces to forge unity to fail the attempts of these non-democratic elements.

Flanked by party president Mir Hasil Bazenjo and other senior party leaders, the chief minister admitted the appointment of Arsalan Iftikhar as vice-chairman of Balochistan Investment Board a mistake but made it clear that there was no role of the federal government or prime minister in the whole affair.

Explaining his position Dr Malik said that the appointment of Arsalan Iftikhar was made in respect and regard of his father's, former Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, invaluable services for democracy as well as for being the son of the soil.

He grilled Imran Khan and others for making issue out of it and said that as he along with other senior government functionaries had admitted their mistake and Arsalan Iftikhar had resigned as well, this debate should close now.

National Party President Mir Hasil Khan Bazenjo also spoke on this issue and said that neither the federal government nor the prime minister has any role in the appointment of Arsalan Iftikhar. He further said that for past one year they have been running the affairs of the Balochistan government in most transparent fashion and not even a single case of corruption could be unearthed against any of their ministers.

To a question about bringing back the estranged Baloch nationalist into mainstream politics, the chief minister Balochistan said that so far no major breakthrough was made on this front but they have not lost hope and are putting in their efforts to woo these estranged Baloch leaders.

About law and order situation he said that the things are improving on fast pace and over 90 per cent of the area was under the writ of their government while the roads are safe to travel now in far-flung areas of the province.

To another question about provision of protection to the pilgrims going to Iran using land route, Dr Malik said that it was beyond their capacity to provide full security cover to them on almost 700-kilometre route and they had proposed that the pilgrims going to Iran should go by air.

To a question about Reko Diq project, the chief minister Balochistan said that a joint committee comprising experts from federal and Balochistan governments is in place and it would be handling the matter keeping in view the national interests in mind.