LAHORE – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said on Friday the situation in Balochistan deteriorated after 2008 because of a non-representative government.

In a statement, Imran endorsed the points raised by Sardar Akhtar Mengal at the Supreme Court. He alleged that Balochistan Assembly was full of corrupt politicians and it could not deliver. He said military operations against our own people were not a solution to the problem.

Imran said the PTI had always opposed the operation in Balochistan, which had a history of five operations. He added that the damage done historically through these operations was huge but sincere efforts could still repair the damages.

The PTI chief said the issue of missing people and death squads was highly alarming among a population that already had the lowest socio-economic indicators as compared to all other provinces.

Imran said due to lack of accurate data thousands of people were believed to be missing and their near and dear ones had no idea about their whereabouts. He demanded that the responsible should be brought to book including those who were involved in the assassination of Sardar Akbar Bugti.

Imran said the PTI strongly believed that unrest in Balochistan could be controlled if all the political parties should be allowed to function freely to prepare the stage for a representative assembly.

Separately, commenting on the situation, PML-Q Central Spokesman Senator Kamil Ali Agha said the demands made by Sardar Akhtar Mengal were commendable, but the Mengals also needed to show genuine intent for solving the problems of Balochs.

Agha, talking to The Nation on Friday, said: “It is not the spirit of six points that I doubts but the intent of the Mengals, because both Akhtar Mengal and his father Sardar Atta Ullah Mengal did nothing for Balochs while in power.”

The PML-Q spokesman questioned why the Mengals were insensitive to the difficulties of Balochs. “Mengal should first make sure that the people do not doubt his intent to address the Balochistan issue,” Agha said.

Meanwhile, MQM Deputy Parliamentary Leader in Parliament Haider Abbas Rizvi said on Friday the situation in Balochistan was not similar to that of former East Pakistan but still needed to be taken seriously.

Replying to a query about Mengal’s apprehensions relating to a true representative government in Balochistan, Rizvi said: “There is only one opposition member in the Balochistan Assembly who belongs to the Rind tribe and he is not in the Opposition by choice but because of his tribe’s long rivalry Chief Minister Aslam Raisani’s tribe.”

Also, Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Syed Munawar Hasan on Friday urged the federal government to make serious efforts for addressing the Balochistan issue. In a statement, he said the tyranny and the injustice of the federal government had caused deep hatred among the Balochs.

“This had provided the United Nations with an excuse to interfere and send a so-called delegation to ascertain the situation,” he added.

Hasan said the Baloch nationalists had given another chance by expressing full confidence in the Supreme Court and the government should avail this opportunity in the best possible manner.

He said abductions for ransom had become a profitable business in Balochistan but the working of the Judicial Commission on the Missing Persons had been poor. He also hoped the apex court would take the matter to its logical end.

“Serious efforts should be made to trace the missing persons, the right of Balochs over the resources of the province must be accepted, gas royalty amounting to Rs600 billion should be paid to them and troops should be called back to restore normalcy,” the Jamaat-e-Islami ameer suggested.