LAHORE - Balochistan National Party President Sardar Akhtar Mengal on Thursday came up with a six-point formula to resolve the Balochistan issue. On Friday, after a meeting with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad, the former Balochistan chief minister likened his six points to the ones given by Awami League leader Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, whose non-implementation had led to the dismemberment of Pakistan and emergence of Bangladesh on the global map in 1971. He said in case these points were not given due consideration, people of Balochistan would not go with Pakistan, nor would they be willing to come to the negotiating table.His six points are: all covert and overt military operations against Baloch people should be ended immediately; all missing persons should be produced before a court of law; all proxy death squads operating in a manner like Al Shams and Al Badar, which operated (in Bangladesh) allegedly under the supervision of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI), should be disbanded; Baloch political parties should be allowed to function and resume their activities without any interference from intelligence agencies; persons responsible for inhumane torture, killing and dumping of bodies of Baloch political leaders and activists should be brought to justice; and measures should be initiated for rehabilitation of thousands of displaced Baloch living in appalling conditions.According to Mr Mengal, the situation in Balochistan is worse than in Kashmir or Palestine, a comment which will, and should, embarrass all the people in power. The Baloch leader’s statement is very disturbing, especially for those who think that the enemies of Pakistan are already at work in Balochistan and are trying to create resentment among the people of the backward province. They are killing Hazaras, Shias and even Punjabis to ignite hatred against Balochistan. The enemies have already succeeded in their designs to some extent and, according to reports, in many areas it’s not possible for anyone now to talk of Pakistan or hoist its national flag. But despite all this, it’s not fair for a leader like Mengal to talk against the unity of the country, no matter how serious his grievances.He must be fully aware that the situation in Karachi is also very bad. People are target-killed almost every day. Extortionists have made the lives of traders and businessmen very difficult. Bullet-riddled bodies, packed in sacks, are recovered from many places quite frequently. But does this mean that the people of Karachi should start talking of separating the cosmopolitan city from Pakistan? Mr Mengal knows that in a political system it is the government which is held responsible for the situation in a province. At present, the PML-N, the Awami National Party, the BNP (Awami), the JUI-F, the JUI-Ideological, the PPP, the PML-Q are all sitting together in the Balochistan government.In an assembly of 65 members, only three people are sitting on opposition benches. One is Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind (who never attended the assembly after taking oath as MPA more than four years ago) and two independents: Pir Abdul Qadir Gilani and Bakhtiar Domki.The BNP (Mengal), of which Mr Akhtar is the president, had boycotted the election and, therefore, has no representation either in the provincial assembly or parliament.If a coalition of more than half a dozen parties is unable to set the situation right, they are to blame. They are the elected representatives. They receive funds from the government and are supposed to use them for people’s welfare and meet other demands of the province. The responsibility of all failures can also be pinned on the federal government, where Balochistan has also representation. The elected representatives of Balochistan in the provincial assembly, the National Assembly and the Senate don’t talk in a hostile tone Mr Mengal has adopted. They do talk of problems facing Balochistan, but they don’t talk of the separation of Balochistan from Pakistan.Mr Mengal will be doing well if he asks these people why they have failed to get solved the problems he was referring to. It is quite meaningful that only the leaders living abroad, including Mr Akhtar Mengal, Harbiyar Marri and Brahamdagh Bugti talk against the unity of the country, forgetting the affection people of other provinces have for them. Since they are not elected leaders, their opinions cannot be taken as people’s demands.As for the role of intelligence agencies in Balochistan, Mr Mengal must bear in mind that his province was not an exception. Agencies play their role across the country. And if Mr Mengal thinks the agencies are transgressing their jurisdiction he should come back to Pakistan permanently, take part in the electoral process, get himself elected and ‘bell the cat’ the way he wants. He should also ask other Baloch leaders living abroad to come back and live with their people. It’s unfair that they should be living comfortably in foreign countries and provoking people’s sentiments from there.Nobody disagrees with him when he says that the assassination of Nawab Akbar Bugti was a great disservice to the country. But then it’s also true that the case is being tried by a court. Former chief minister Jam Muhammad Yousaf and former interior minister Aftab Sherpao had to seek pre-arrest bail because of being nominated in this case. Proceedings against former president Pervez Musharraf are also in progress.The former Balochistan chief minister should also not forget that other provinces are tightening their belts to spare more resources for Balochistan. They want to bring the province at par with them.It’s not a small gesture that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has proposed the name of Sardar Ataullah Mengal for the post of caretaker prime minister. This shows that the PML-N chief believes that the Sardar is not a secessionist.Another name proposed for the same position is that of Mehmud Khan Achakzai, head of the Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party, who is also from Balochistan.Such gestures should be reciprocated. If love begets love, Mr Mengal should forget the bitterness of the past and play his role in setting the situation right.In the prevailing circumstances, the elected representatives should discuss the Balochistan problem at length at the earliest possible and come up with a concrete solution.The writer doesn’t support the idea of an all-party conference on the subject as it undermines the importance of the elected houses.Before the situation slips out of control, the ruling coalition at the centre and in Balochistan should devise a methodology to satisfy the people of the country’s largest province.