Musharraf points at foreign hand in Balochistan

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Islamabad, Aug 5: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has blamed foreign hands for the raging insurgency in southwestern Balochistan, asserting, ''I am one thousand per cent sure about it.'' ''There is abundant evidence that elements involved in target killings and subversive activities are being financed and trained by foreign elements, who do not want peace in Pakistan,'' the President said while addressing a gathering in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, on Monday, Aug 4.

Mr Musharraf's remarks came days after Barahamdagh Bugti, grandson of slain nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, said he would accept any help from India, Afghanistan and Iran to defend Balochistan. Barahamdagh said the military operation in Balochistan has continued for the last four years and not for four days in which innocent people had been killed. Dozens of militants were killed and two of their bases destroyed last month in Dera Bugti town of Balochistan where insurgency erupted three years ago in the wake of demands for more autonomy and share in state resources for people of impoverished province, which also supplies natural gas to the country.

Former chief minister and governor of Balochistan Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed in a military operation in August 2006. The News quoted Mr Musharraf as urging people to forge unity, resolving that terrorists would not be allowed to hamper the development of Balochistan.

He noted that the law and order situation in Balochistan was better than other provinces in the past, but now the situation is not quite good, owing to the external interference which, he asserted, could not be ignored.

Referring to target killings in Balochistan, the President said killings of innocent people was uncalled for as these people had been living in Balochistan for decades and had played an important role in the development and prosperity of the province.


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