The long road to peace in Balochistan needs serious thinking about the future rather than blaming each other for the past, says a former speaker of the Balochistan assembly.
"It was this thinking about the future rather than the past that led to peace in Ireland," said Mir Akram Dashti, who was speaker of the assembly during the late Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was chief minister (1988-90).
Dashti regretted that the political landscape of Balochistan has changed from what it used to be during the time of the Baloch triumvirate – Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo, Sardar Ataullah Mengal and Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, "There used to be lot of reading and study circles then," he said.
He called for effective communications between the nationalist insurgents and those nationalists who are in the parliament in Balochistan. “Today there seems to be so many interests at work in Balochistan like China, Russia, India and the sectarian conflict too has foreign roots. However, the Baloch will have to rise above the petty interests and keep their national interests supreme for their survival,” Dashti said.
Dashti had lost his close friend and university buddy, Maula Bakhsh Dashti, to assassin bullets in June 2010. Though the Baloch Liberation Front chief Dr. Allah Nazar denied his involvement, the victim family insisted the killers did belong to the BLF. In fact, one of the alleged killers was later abducted by the security forces and killed.
Dashti warned that if the nationalists keep on fighting among themselves, those who want to make fast bucks will continue to thrive and the Baloch people will suffer.
He said the present government is trying its level best to build a consensus among the Baloch stakeholders. "Chief minister Dr. Malik Baloch regularly consults with his predecessor Sardar Akhtar Mengal. A team from the National Party would soon be visiting the elder Sardar Ataullah Mengal as his wisdom and experience are much treasured," he said.
The former speaker was speaking with this correspondent after appearing before an election tribunal in Quetta.
A notable of Dasht area in Mekran and leader of the National Party, Dashti had petitioned the election tribunal that his victory was stolen in the last general elections by Akbar Askani, who had recently moved to Dasht from Iran. In the clannish political climate of Mekran one has to be a native of the area for hundreds of years to command real political following.