Saturday, February 7, 2015

NP wants international help to curb religious extremism

Amanullah Kasi 
Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo.—Online/File

QUETTA: Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo, who also heads the National Party (NP), has called for international powers and the national leadership to formulate a joint strategy against the scourge of religious extremism affecting the region.

Addressing a meeting of the NP’s central executive committee on Thursday night, he said it was a good sign that the country’s political leadership and the establishment were on the same page against terrorism and expressed the hope that this uniformity of perception would help defeat terrorists and extremist forces.

Also read: Bizenjo concerned over rising number of extremist groups

Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch also attended the meeting.

Mr Bizenjo said there was a difference between Baloch extremism and religious extremism and emphasised that the issue of Balochistan should not be bracketed with religious extremism.

Balochistan issue, he said, was a “political and national problem” therefore the matter should be settled politically and called for holding dialogue with Baloch militants to ensure a peaceful atmosphere in the province.

He opposed using force to suppress the political struggle and said dialogue was the only way to solve the problem. Any ultra-constitutional methods would complicate the situation, he cautioned.

He said that despite reservations the NP had endorsed the setting up of military courts to try terrorists and militants and added that political leadership was united in parliament to back the constitutional amendment adopted in favour of military courts.

Other members of the central executive committee expressed satisfaction over what they called the change of establishment’s mindset and described it as a positive step. They were of the view that the establishment should support federating units over the issue of controlling resources of provinces.

The chief minister said that completion of the process of local bodies’ elections in Balochistan was a major achievement of the coalition government and asked the party’s councillors to work hard to resolve the problems being faced by people.

The meeting decided to hold council sessions of the party in all provinces in April.

Published in Dawn, February 7th, 2015

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