Khan of Kalat Vehemently Contradicts Achakzai’s Claims
LONDON: The Khan of Kalat Mir Suleman Dawood has categorically rejected the impression that Pashtuns living in Balochistan are facing social and economic discrimination whereas they are receiving more than their due share from the province’s economy.
He said the Pakistani Establishment had been trying to create rifts between the two brotherly nations for many years but they have not succeeded in their designs because the Balochs and Pashtuns have historically enjoyed good ties.
His remarks came after a controversial interview of Mahmood Khan Achakzai, the chairman of Pakhtunkhaw Milli Awami Party, in which he had blamed the Balochs for the backwardness of the Pashtuns living in Balochistan. Achakzai’s remarks had stunned political observers in Balochistan as they have never come across similar allegations from the larger Pashtun political party, the Awami National Party.
He said the Balochs had no objections if the Pashtun population in Balochistan wanted their districts to be incorporated in the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province or united in a single new province because Balochs and Pashtuns have lived in harmony for several centuries on their native lands.
The exiled Baloch leader, who convened a historic Jirga of Baloch tribal leaders in September 2006 to take Balochistan’s case in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan, said the Baloch movement was intended to gain full independence from Pakistan. “As far as the Pashtuns are concerned,” he added, “they have to decide on their own what their future goals are because their economic interests are integrated inside Balochistan. We will fully support the incorporation of their lands in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Province if the Pashtuns wish so,” he said.