Nawaz asks govt: Withdraw army before vote if the Baloch want

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 3:30:34 by

LAHORE, Oct 2: Facing criticism from the government for seeking withdrawal of paramilitary forces from Balochistan, PML-N President Nawaz Sharif says if Baloch leaders think that the presence of army and Frontier Constabulary may hamper the election process, these forces should be pulled out.

“If the Baloch leadership says the presence of army and FC is hampering the process of free and fair elections in Balochistan, the government should withdraw the forces from there,” he told the media here on Tuesday after condoling with Asma Jehangir on the demise of her mother.

Jamhoori Watan Party leader Nawabzada Talal Bugti, in his meeting with the PML-N chief on Monday, had threatened to boycott the forthcoming general election if forces were not withdrawn from the restive province. And Nawaz had supported the call.

Federal Information Minister Qamaruz Zaman Kaira said if Nawaz was ready to accept responsibility for maintaining law and order in Balochistan, the government would pull out the FC from there.

The PML-N president said he was only “fulfilling his duty” as a citizen by drawing attention of the authorities towards the security situation in Balochistan.

Defending his criticism of the PPP government, he said he was not deliberately criticising the PPP governance as he was doing so in national interest and not for any personal gains.

He lamented that the government did nothing during the last four years although it could have easily done a lot in this respect.

Referring to the missing persons’ issue, Nawaz said the whole country was talking about the issue and asked that who these missing persons were and under what law they had been picked up.

Ms Jehangir wondered why the PPP leaders were demanding Nawaz take the responsibility (for maintaining law and order) when their party was ruling the country.

She said it was good for the federation that Nawaz, a leader from Punjab, raised a voice for Balochistan.

She said the PPP’s governance style was flawed.



Lahore News Sources

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