Pakistan Urdu Press: June 1-15, 2013
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  • Pakistani Urdu dailies have welcomed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s decision to nominate Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch, a Baloch nationalist, as the Chief Minister of Balochistan. Political commentators have also termed the decision as visionary and a right step towards the reconciliation process between the federation and the province. However, they are divided over the issue of political accommodation of the BNP Mengal group. Majid Asghar believes that Akhtar Mengal’s reservations should be addressed while Saifullah Khalid believes that he has been rejected by the people and Nawaz Sharif should not become captive of his politics.

    Centre should help Balochistan Chief Minister realise his mission: Jang

    Editorial, June 11, 2013
    The Jang Urdu Daily has welcomed Nawaz Sharif’s decision of nominating Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch of National Party, a Baloch nationalist leader, as the Chief Minister of Balochistan despite the Muslim League (N) emerging as the single largest party in the provincial assembly. Its editorial says, “Nawaz Sharif is the only leader who has embraced the leadership of Baloch and Pastun with an open heart instead of repeating the bitter experiences of the past.” This decision was accepted by his party and was supported by Pakhtunkhwa Awami Milli Party.

    The Jang writes that Dr. Abdul Malik is a ‘commoner’ who became the ‘chief executive’ of the province because of his political activism there. His main tasks would be to bring the extremists to the negotiation table, hasten the recovery of missing persons and stop the target killings. These tasks are not easy and these issues can not be resolved without a change of thinking among the national political and military leadership. The Daily suggests the political and military leadership to sincerely consider addressing the issues faced by Balochistan and adopt a policy of “live and let live.” Dr. Malik is very serious on this issue; if he is not assisted by the political and military leadership, he will not like continuing as the Chief Minister for the sake it. He has already hinted in his speech that he will prefer to go home instead of compromising on important issues.

    The Daily states that two of the previous Chief Ministers did not compromise on issues with the federal leadership and were sent home. It opines, “If someone is sent home again, it would be very difficult to regain people’s trust.” Miyan Nawaz Sharif, who has introduced a revolutionary thinking on Balochistan, would have to give more authority and power to Balochistan as practically no decision can be taken in Balochistan without an approval from the federal government.

    We welcome the first commoner Chief Minister of Balochistan: Nawa-e-Waqt

    Editorial, June 10, 2013
    Commenting on this issue, the Nawa-e-Waqt Urdu Daily writes, “This is the first time that instead of Sardars, Nawabs and Khans, a commoner has been appointed as the Chief Minister of Balochistan. He enjoys support from all the political parties in the province as well as Baloch and Pashtun political leadership.” The Daily opines that resolving people’s issues and persuading the Baloch nationalists for the dialogue would be his biggest challenges and if these objectives are achieved, it would be his biggest success. The entire nation congratulates him and wishes good luck to him, writes the Daily in its concluding remarks.

    Sharif has ended Baloch-Pashtun bickering by giving the post of Chief Minister to a Baloch and Governor’s post to a Pashtun: Majeed Asghar

    Jang, Opinion, June 12, 2013

    Majeed Asghar, in an opinion column in Jang Urdu Daily, writes that “the general election did not bring any revolutionary message in Balochistan. However, with the visionary decision taken by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the cloud of despair and uncertainty that has covered Balochistan seems to be clearing.” He writes that despite Muslim League (N) emerging as the single largest party in the province, Nawaz Sharif chose to put the Chief Minister’s crown on a moderate Baloch nationalist, Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch. By doing so he showed foresightedness and a political wisdom. Asghar further writes that “this decision by Nawaz Sharif compelled the Baloch and Pashtun leadership to state that ‘Punjab ne sab ko ekattha kar diya’ (Punjab has united us all).” This is a right step towards bringing the people of the country’s biggest province closer to the mainstream and will help in national integration.

    As regards the BNP Mengal group’s reservations, Asghar says that Mengal has some reservations about the election results. To win his confidence, his reservations should be addressed and doing this would be a good omen for a better and prosperous future of the province. Asghar also commends Nawaz Sharif for appointing Muhammad Khan Achakzai, a pashtun, as the governor of Balochistan. He says that by giving the post of Chief Minister to a Baloch and Governor’s post to a Pashtun, Sharif has ended the Baloch-Pashtun bickering, at least for the time being.

    Those rejected by the people should not be embraced by the federation: Saifullah Khalid

    Ummat, Opinion, June 03, 2013.

    Saifullah Khalid disagrees with Majeed Ashgar in his article in the Ummat Urdu Daily. Khalid argues that “the Mengal group has managed to win only two seats in Balochistan assembly and therefore Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should not allow being held captive by a party that has been rejected by the people.

    Commenting on the decision to boycott the assembly proceeding by Akhtar Mengal, Khalid writes that Akhtar Mengal’s stance should not be treated as Blaoch nationalist viewpoint; these are the problem only of Akhtar Mengal. He says that Khair Bakhs Mari and Hasil bazanjoo, both Blaoch nationalists, have not boycotted the assembly. Khalid notes that Akhtar Mengal has been demanding Balochistan’s separation from Pakistan. He drew parallels between Kashmir and Balochistan. At times he equated himself with Sheikh Mujib and on another occasion, he declared himself to be Nelson Mandela of Pakistan. All his statements have been against Pakistan and this is the reason why people handed him a crushing defeat when he asked for their mandate; he could manage only one seat in the National assembly and two in the provincial assembly.