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Category Archives: Interviews

Interview with CM Balochistan: Malik says he has power

Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch meeting Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal in the presence of #Pakistan national flag

Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik has refuted the perception that he is a chief executive only in the name and that the actual powers are in the hands of the provincial civil bureaucracy, headed by the chief secretary.

“It is absolutely incorrect to suggest that the chief secretary is the decision-making authority in the province and I am a powerless chief minister,” CM Malik said in an annoyed tone.

“I have all powers and authority prescribed for the provincial chief executive in the Constitution and the chief secretary is discharging his duties in accordance with the rules and procedure,” Malik said in an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune on Tuesday in Islamabad.

Recently, Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo, acting president of the Balochistan’s ruling National Party (NP), had told the media that the provincial cabinet was a toothless body without any authority.

“We have been given the right to rule the province but we are denied decisions-making powers,” Bizenjo had said.

Dr Malik – who had also served as the president of the ruling NP till his election as the provincial chief minister in June – said that his party’s leader had been quoted by the media out of context.

CM Balochistan himself supervising distribution of items in Awaran

CM Balochistan supervising distribution of items in Awaran

An official in Quetta said the provincial chief secretary – who has been sent from Punjab – was exercising all the administrative powers and there was little role of the chief minister and his cabinet members in decision-making.

Malik defended the chief secretary against the allegations and said the chief secretary and the inspector-general of police, who was also from Punjab, were serving Balochistan with exemplary commitment and remarkable integrity.

Councilors resign

The chief minister admitted that ‘some’ of the newly elected councilors of local bodies from Makran division had resigned their offices after they received life threats by Baloch militants.

“No doubt the newly elected councilors are still being abducted in Makran division by militants,” the CM said.

He claimed that 10 to 12 newly elected councilors resigned their offices after they were abducted by insurgents. All of them had been elected from the chief minister’s own constituency in Makran division which is also his home town.

Dr Malik In awaran (1)

About the improving law and order situation in the province, Malik said the December 7 elections for over 7,000 local bodies’ seats were held in a better security environment as compared to the May 11 general elections. “Over 6,500 councilors have been elected for the local governments,” he added.

 

Express Tribune

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In Conversation With The Chief Minister Of Balochistan

Dr Malik

We recently spoke with Dr. Baloch of the National Party about the challenges his coalition government in Quetta must overcome for peace in Pakistan’s restive province. Excerpts:

How does one quell the violence in Balochistan?

Balochistan’s problems are multidimensional. There is the Baloch insurgency, sectarianism, target killings, and then the large number of kidnappings. I am in the process of preparing a twofold solution: a political and an economic one. The political solution will stress on the need to reconcile with the insurgents. As a first step we will immediately need to rehabilitate families displaced from [areas under the traditional control of the Marri and Bugti tribes] and Quetta.

In your opinion, is Balochistan on the verge of seceding from the federation?

There is no doubt that a school of thought has always existed in Balochistan which believes in separatism. But honestly, I don’t think we have reached a stage where there is no other solution. Let’s not give up. It’s time we negotiate with those who want to secede.

How accurate or inaccurate are claims that Pakistan’s military agencies are responsible for the violence and separatist sentiment in Balochistan?

Hopefully the agencies will work with us and use their power over those they command.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has suggested India’s involvement in fomenting trouble in Balochistan. What involvement, if any, do you see of foreign countries in creating tensions in your province?

We are in a war zone. To our west is Afghanistan, and NATO is still there, so you cannot rule out the possibility of foreign interference. Now if you ask me who all are involved and to what extent, I have no way of knowing. But in the case of sectarianism, I think we all know. It is quite clear.

It is widely believed that Mullah Omar is alive and running the Afghan Taliban through the Quetta Shura. What can you share about the presence of the Taliban and its affiliates in Balochistan?

I have no idea. I don’t know where Mullah Omar is. As for the Taliban, of course they are operating in Balochistan. They are operating with great impunity in the entire country.

How realistic or reasonable are the claims and figures cited by the leftwing about people who may have gone missing in the province?

There is no exact number of missing persons in Balochistan. Every organization has its own number.  The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons has a different figure to the one being cited by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Specifics aside, we should recover those we can and present them in court.

How soon can Balochistan be stabilized?

I am neither that naïve to believe I can solve all of Balochistan’s problems nor am I that pessimistic to think that I can achieve nothing. Let me at least do what I can to help my people as much as I can.

Akbar Bugti was attacking national installations in Balochistan and he was killed alongside Pakistan Army troops who had gone to apparently negotiate with him. Is it acceptable, in your opinion, for tribal chieftains to take up arms against the country?

No, now that is not true. Nawab Bugti was forced to take the decision he did. I was there [in Balochistan]. I saw what was happening and what he was doing. His death spiraled Balochistan into a state of instability.

 

News Week Pakistan

 

‘Separation is no solution’ :Dr Ishaq Baloch

‘Separation is  no solution’

General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani speaks to Balochistan’s new chief minister Abdul Malik Baloch during a ceremony to mark Defence Day in Sui

Dr Ishaq Baloch and Dr Allah Nazar were both groomed in the student politics of Balochistan in the 1980s. Dr Allah Nazar joined the Baloch Students Organization (BSO), picked up the gun, and eventually surfaced as a symbol of resistance for the disgruntled Baloch against the state of Pakistan. Dr Ishaq Baloch decided to use peaceful political means to further the Baloch cause. He has countless reasons to disagree with the Pakistani establishment and the so-called Punjabi elite, but he never thought secession was the solution to the problem of Balochistan.

“The future of Balochistan is intertwined with the federation”

“The future of Balochistan is intertwined with the federation,” Dr Baloch said in an interview. He is now the vice president of the National Party. “Separation is no solution, and that is why we don’t demand separation, despite severe criticism.”

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Dr Ishaq Baloch addresses a Young Doctors’ convention in Quetta

The times were difficult but the people were inspiring when he first joined the Pakistan Progressive Students Alliance in 1984. Many heard him correctly. Among them was Abdul Hai Baloch, who felt he could play a role in his National Movement.  Later, he joined the Balochistan National Alliance, beginning a long association with Dr Abdul Malik, who is now the cabinet-less chief minister of Balochistan.

“Since the very beginning, we have demanded maximum autonomy for Balochistan,” he said, driving home from the Balochistan Assembly in Quetta. Like the rest of the peace-loving residents of the city, he lives in danger.  There are non-state actors who show no mercy when they silence their opponents. The role of state agencies has been highly controversial. Some local chieftains run their own small but well-organized fiefdoms. Recently, the specter of sectarianism has emerged to haunt the marginalized Shia Hazara community.

“Satisfying the impoverished people of Balochistan by giving them their due rights is the need of the hour,” Dr Baloch said. “The ailing economy of Pakistan can be cured by utilizing the potentials of Balochistan, such as the hidden mineral resources and the coast of Gwadar.” He has so far been disappointed by the effort that Pakistan’s political elite and the establishment have made to end the Baloch deprivation, but agrees that the landmark 18th constitutional amendment and the Aghaz-e-Huqooq-e-Balochistan development package were excellent initiatives to undo the mistakes of the past.

A ‘great game’ is being played in the province, and it involves regional and international players, Dr Baloch said. He declined to elaborate, but added that some countries in the region were threatened by the economic potential of Gwadar.

He did not say which country was fanning the flames of separatism in the province, but the government of Pakistan has long accused India of aiding the Baloch separatists. Brahamdagh Bugti, the son of slain Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, was once photographed in Delhi, and there were allegations that he was enjoying Indian patronage. The Indian government has always refuted the allegations.

But any foreign involvement builds on an existing sense of deprivation among the Baloch, which is largely genuine. Dr Ishaq Baloch accuses the Punjabi ruling elite of mistreating the people of Balochistan, the civil and military establishment of blocking development in the province, and the tribal leaders of siding with military dictators.

Pakistan's first deep sea port in Gwadar, whose operations were recently handed over to China

Pakistan’s first deep sea port in Gwadar, whose operations were recently handed over to China

Among the most serious issues in Balochistan is that of the ‘missing persons’ – people believed to have been abducted by law-enforcement or spy agencies over suspicion that they support the separatists. Many of those who disappear end up dead.

Dr Ishaq said no single individual or institution was responsible for the problems in Balochistan. He said the government had no writ in parts of the province, but it was wrong to believe that the provincial government had little control or influence outside of Quetta. “There are problems in some areas,” he acknowledged, “but it is a wrong perception that the writ of the government doesn’t exist at all.”

Some regional players are threatened by the economic potential of Gwadar

Asked to comment on the chief minister governing the province without a cabinet, he said dealing with coalition partners was not an easy job. “We must keep everyone in the coalition satisfied. I believe we have managed things, and the provincial cabinet will be formed in a matter of days.”

Among the coalition partners is the faction of Muslim League led by Nawaz Sharif, previously seen as part of the Punjabi elite. Despite being the largest party in the Balochistan Assembly, it allowed the National Party to appoint a chief minister. The reconciliatory move is being hailed by political analysts. But the scars of deprivation may take time to heal.

“We have faith in the process of reconciliation,” Dr Ishaq Baloch said. “And I think this strategy will eventually work.” But for things to get better, he said the province will have to get rid of the complicated regional proxy war.

The Friday Times

 

Mengal admits foreign involvement in Balochistan

Akhter Mangel

ISLAMABAD: Balochistan has been bleeding since 2004. Successive governments tried to stem the bleeding – but to no avail so far. Government and intelligence officials believe some foreign forces are also stoking violence in the province, where ethnic, political, sectarian and militant lines have criss-crossed to further destabilise the province.

Baloch nationalists were earlier reluctant to buy this claim. However, veteran Baloch politician Sardar Akhtar Mengal on Sunday admitted to the presence of “death squads sponsored by Pakistan’s neighbours and foreign powers”.

In an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune, Mengal also condemned the deadly violence perpetrated by Baloch separatists in the province. A medley of separatist groups – especially Balochistan Liberation Army, Baloch Republican Army and Baloch Liberation Army – have upped their insurgency ante since the killing of Jamhoori Watan Party chief Nawab Akbar Bugti in a military operation in 2006.

He acknowledged that Baloch insurgents have been targeting non-Baloch settlers, mainly those from Punjab, in Balochistan. “However, some government officials also want the settlers to flee the province and sell their properties at throw-away prices,” he added.

It is perhaps the first time that Mengal has openly condemned the activities of Baloch insurgents — not easy to do since his younger brother Javed Mengal and two of his nephews – Nooruddin Mengal and Bhawal Mengal – are also allegedly involved in insurgency.

For his part, Sardar Akhtar Mengal – the head of his own faction of Balochistan National Party (BNP-M) – said his party has from the beginning renounced violence as a means to achieve political and economic rights of the Baloch people.

Mengal ended his four-year self-imposed exile and returned to Pakistan on March 25, 2013 to lead his party in the May 11 general elections. All separatist groups are opposed to parliamentary politics.

Mengal spoke about his predicament. “The Baloch militants consider me a traitor while the security establishment also treats me as an enemy,” he said. “I’m being targeted by both.”

Asked if he was willing to mediate between the insurgents and the government, Mengal said: “Both [Baloch insurgents and security establishment] speak through the barrel of the gun. They cannot understand my language.”

Instead Mengal reiterated that the six-point formula he had spelt out before the May 11 elections to stabilise the situation in Balochistan was still workable. “My six-point formula is within the parameters of the Constitution,” he said. “We are willing for a debate with anyone who thinks my six points are against the interest of Pakistan.”

Mengal also strongly criticised the security establishment for targeting ‘Baloch political workers’. He alleged that ‘death squads’ backed by intelligence agencies were eliminating critics of the establishment’s policies. “They [death squads] are killing and kidnapping people because they have been given a licence by the establishment to operate against anyone,” he added.

Asked by bloodshed perpetrated by Baloch insurgents, he said: “State agencies should not behave like militants. There should be a difference between the conduct of the state and of militants.”

Mengal’s party fared badly in the May 11 elections which he claimed were massively rigged. “The elections were rigged by the establishment to stop my party from coming to power,” he alleged.

Mengal, who is in the federal capital, is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif besides attending a book launch. He is confident that Nawaz can resolve the Balochistan issue.

“I had detailed discussions with Mian Sahib on all important issues after the general elections. “Mian Sahib assured me that he would do all he could to steer Balochistan out of crisis,” said Mengal. “I will try to meet him on his return from China.”

Express Tribune

 

‘’I will continue my campaign of defending this country,”: Jangayz Marri

Jangayz Marri

ISLAMABAD: While his father and two brothers are leading separatist movements in Balochistan, Nawabzada Jangayz Marri is vying for the chief ministership of that very province, and is determined to counter all efforts to separate it from Pakistan.

‘’For years, I have been defending Pakistan and its interests against all those who are trying to break it, said Jangayz, the elder son of the top separatist Baloch leader Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri .

‘’I will continue my campaign of defending this country,” he declared in an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune, while also saying that Balochistan is an integral part of Pakistan and it will always remain a part of the federation.

Grandson Of Nawab Khair Baksh Marri (BLA) and nephew of Harbiyar Marri. He Is Also Member Of PML (N)

Grandson Of Nawab Khair Baksh Marri , nephew of Harbiyar Marri and Son of Jangayz Marri. He Is Also Member Of PML (N)

Jangayz, 53, has been elected to the Balochistan assembly as a nominee of the PML-N from his ancestral constituency of Kohlu, a place that has been the hub of fighting between Marri militants and the security forces. “I believe in parliamentary democracy as our political and economic issues can only be solved through the democratic process,” he declared with conviction.

His father Nawab Marri was once part of that very process, as a legislator in the national assembly in the early 1970’s. He turned to militancy after then Prime Minister Z.A Bhutto dismissed his party’s (the National Awami Party) government in Balochistan and launched a military operation against those who were protesting that act. Jangayz feels it is now time to turn back the clock.

‘’ I want all the militants to go back to their old ways and rejoin the democratic process for the betterment of the Baloch people and Balochistan ‘’ Jangayz said.
Nawab Marri is still leading his fighting tribesmen in Kohlu while two of his exiled sons, Nawabzada Hyrbyar Marri and Nawabzada Zumran Marri alias Mehran Marri are heading the proscribed militant outfits, Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and United Baloch Army (UBA).One of his sons, Nawabzada Balach Marri, who was also one of the leaders of the BLA, was killed in Afghanistan.

Former Interior Ministry Hyrbyair Marri

Hyrbyair Marri,when he was Interior Minister of Balochistan,Now the cheif of BLA. Man in white dress is his brother Balaach Marri, who was killed in Afghanistan

‘’The so-called agenda of the independence of Balochistan is nothing but a ploy to add to the miseries of the Baloch people ‘’ Jangayz said while rejecting militancy. ‘’I fail to understand what kind of independence these militants are taking about,” he said, adding ‘’The Baloch people are already living in an independent state: Pakistan.
Jangayz criticized the militants for not having the “common sense” to understand that the fighting was adding to the miseries of the Baloch people, who he says have already suffered enough. “We are engaged in killing each other for petty political gains. In this discord and bloodshed we are not willing to recognize any one person as our unanimous leader, so what will be the fate of our people even if we get this so-called independence?” he asked, before answering his own question: ‘’Nothing but more and more destruction for the Baloch people. Enough is enough, let us now live and let live,” he said.
‘’I will talk to all militants for the restoration of peace and stability in the province,” he said while unveiling his plans for the solution of Balochistan issue. He cautions that it will not be an easy process, and will require a comprehensive strategy of dialogue and deterrence. ‘’ I had lengthy discussions with Marri fighters on their main grievances and found that over 90 percent of the people in the province only want a peaceful life and economic prosperity.”
‘’All the stake holders and state institutions need to address the main issues, which include the restoration of the government’s writ , ending militancy, job creation and good governance,” he urged, emphasising that all these issue must be addressed fairly and within constitutional bounds. And he clearly knows who the best man for the job is.
‘’Except for Nawaz Sharif, no national politician is sincerely interested in resolving the Balochistan issue,” says Jangayz who joined the PML -N in 1995. ‘’It is high time to initiate serious and sincere efforts to bring peace and tranquility in the province so that the poor and neglected Baloch people can also enjoy the fruits of democracy,” he concluded.

Express Tribune

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AN exclusive Interview with Hairy biyari Marri.

Baluch Reporter: Waja Hairy biyar Sahib, Can you Please introduce yourself?
HBM: Yes, my name is Nawbzada Hair Biyar Marri s/o Nawab Kahir Bux Marri.

 

Baluch Reporter: We heard that we you was a minister of education in Akhtar Jan Menhgal’s Govt and you didn’t build any school nor give any scholarship to any student in your area to go college, but sold Jobs to Hazara, Pastune and Punjabis. Is that true?
Hairy biyari Marri: Yes, that is true. When I was minister of education and yes I sold the jobs to hazara and Punjabis and made money. That’s what all ministers do to make money. When you are in Govt, you don’t think any thing else but how to make more money, steal the wealth of people to get rich. I did exactly what all do.

 

Baluch Reporter: But now you shout for freedom ?
Hairy biyari Marri: yes, I do. It is also a business man and I’m making money out of it. Every one is making money out of it by selling Baloch blood are tear in the international market. Why should’nt I? My Father is doing it from Karachi. My all brothers are doing it. It is a family business. we are all trying to compete with each other. My brother Mehranis competing with me and that’s why we don’t get along with each other.

 

Baluch Reporter: Many people believe that you father,Khair Bux Marri, is in ISI? Is that true?
Hairy biyari Marri: Yes, he was in ISI then and he is in ISI now. He was sent by ISI to Afghanistan in 70′s and he came back with their permission in their C-130 military jet.

 

Baluch Reporter: Was you with him in that C-130?
Hairy biyari Marri: No but my Brother Balaach Marri was with him.

C130_Pakistan_10689_GDSR_MXP0302_defencetalk.com.jpg

Baluch Reporter: Why did the ISI sent him there?
Hairy biyari Marri:: To keep an eye on President Najeeb’s and Soviet’s forces and most importantly to keep an eye on the Baloch freedom fighters, their numbers, training camps and all about their activities to inform the ISI and GHQ.

 

Baluch Reporter: When he came back in C-130, why did they take him to Islamabad and then flew him to Quetta despite the fact that he was the “most wanted man” of Pakistan?
Hairy biyari Marri: ” Most wanted man ” hahahahah…. That is a joke. Actually, my father was the most beloved man of GHQ and still he is, not the “most wanted one”. They took him to Islamabad first so that he can be thanked and rewarded by Gen Zia in person with two Billion Paki Rupees for the job well done and then he was flown to Quetta airport.

 

Baluch Reporter:How did you get into London and got political asylum?
Hairy biyari Marri: When on the order of me and my father our paid agent Gulam Nabi Bangulzai killed Justice Nawaz Marri, my father was put in Quetta first class jail to protect him from being killed by Justice Marri’s men who were after him and me. I ran to London to save my life and then eventually I applied for political asylum, which was first denied. I was put in Jail on terrorism charges but with the help of my friend Rehman Malik and President Asif Ali Zardari, I was finally released from the Belmarsh prison and then eventually granted asylum. I thanked Rehman Malik and President Asif Ali zardari for their help after my release and called their Govt the best democratic one in the world. If it was not for their help i would rot in the Belmarsh prison for years. Thanks to Rehman Malik and Asif Ali Zardarai, I feel safe here in London.

 

Baluch Reporter: You finally admitted recently in your interview in Daily Tawar that you have met Rehman Malik who came to your house in London. Why did you meet him and why did you kept this a secret for this whole time?
Hairy biyari Marri: Rehman Malik is a close friend of mine. He is like a family member to me. Every time he comes to London, he visit me and we have dinner and party together. We share many thing together including lying to and cheating people. He is a big liar and so am I but he is my Gru. He gives me good advice and convey me my father’s personal messages every time we meet. We are both “close” friends.

 

Baluch Reporter: Let’s talk about “Freedom Charter”? What is it about and who wrote it?
Hairy biyari Marri: It is charter to promote myself in like an advertizing photo show. My “close” Bugga friend Peter Tachell wrote it, as myself, a Nalaik metric failed, couldn’t write it by myself. So I asked him to do it for me so I could distribute it to take my picture with and score some political points. After all, this is the only thing I have done beside shooting fiery statements in daily Tawar written by my agent Hafeez Hassan Aabadi,Anders Breivik of Balochistan.

 

Baluch Reporter: We heard that you gave the copies of your so called freedom of Charter to Khan Kalat, Brhamdagh Bugti and Sardar Akhtar Mengal. What was their reactions?
Hairy biyari Marri: They didn’t like it and soon after I left, I heard, they trashed it in the dustbin, which I understand. It was an ego thing. I should had consulted them before asking my BUGGA friend Peter Tachell to writ it. It was my mistake. But, I like to do thing unilaterally with out consulting others not even my own bothers and father, that’s why they are all mad and angry with me.

 

Baluch Reporter: You didn’t like Khan Kalat and never looked at him or talked to him for years but when he got some help from Dana Rohrabacher, all of sudden you rushed to his house and took pictures with him and became friendly. What was that all about?
Hairy biyari Marri: Our Job is to collect information from every one and everywhere by any means possible and to pass it on to ISI and that’s what we are here for and are getting paid for by the ISI and GHQ. Why you thought I fall in love with KK all of sudden. No… I went to him to find out what is going on? I was specifically advised by Rehman Malik to do so which I did to collect information from KK about the US plan and pass it on to ISI so that they can develop a plan to counter it. KK was naive enough to believe and trust thinking that I’ll support him. Our close friend and insider spy Mullah Sarjov helped us to arrange the meeting with KK.

Khan-of-Kalat-with-Harbiar-Marri.jpg

 

Baluch Reporter: You shout for freedom but your one brother, Mr. Changez Marri is with PML(N) and shout Pakistan Zindabad. Any comments on that?
Hairy biyari Marri: This is part of our family business and strategy. We want to make sure if PML(N) comes in the Govt, we have our foot in it and our brother becomes the next cheap minister. That is a part of our game. It is called smart thinking and investment.

Baluch Reporter: Ahmar Mustikhan used to be your friend and now you both don’t like each other and he called you “Baloch Bin Laden” and “Terror suspect”. What was that all about?
Hairy biyari Marri: I hired him to promote me as the sole “hero” and “Baloch Leader” in Yahoo groups and other social media, but then differences arose. He asked for more money and I refused. He got angry and called me “Baloch Bin Ladin” and “London terror suspect”. Now I heard my brother Mehran is giving him some money and he is busy promoting him in these days in his articles.

 

Baluch Reporter: Thank you waja Hairy Biyari Marri Sahib.
Hairy biyari Marri:: You are Welcome.

Link: Baloch Sardar Watch