Malik terms BLUF demands ‘unrealistic’
By Malik Siraj Akbar
QUETTA: Prime Minister’s advisor on interior affairs Rehman Malik on Saturday described as ‘unrealistic and exaggerated’ the list of missing persons provided by the Baloch Liberation United Front (BLUF) as its demand-list for the release of the American UN official John Solecki.
Malik, who had come to Quetta on the presidential instructions for an urgent visit in the wake of a 72-hour ultimatum given by a Baloch armed group about the future of the UN official, met with top Balochistan officials, including Chief Minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani and deliberated about the emerging situation. He held talks with the chiefs of the police, the Frontier Corps (FC) and intelligence agencies in order to check the authenticity of BLUF claim that 6000 Baloch and, including 141 women, are held by the state intelligence agencies.
Talking to newsmen, Malik said the demands made by the BLUF for the release of John Solecki were unrealistic and exaggerated. Not a single Baloch woman is currently in the custody of the government against the BLUF demand that 141 Baloch women are in the official custody. The official record provided to the concerned officials of the Balochistan government by National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and the intelligence agencies indicate that no such people are in the official detention centers.
“It is important for the government to verify the demands made by the nationalists. If such a large number of people are missing then their relatives should contact the government so that we collect information about them and help to locate them,” he said, adding that the claim regarding the disappearance of 6000 persons was a political gimmick. “Many of these missing persons have gone out of Pakistan,” he reaffirmed the same explanation former President Pervez Musharraf had repeatedly given in the past about the missing persons of Balochistan.
He informed that the Balochistan government had provided Islamabad a list of around 800 people, which too was an incomplete list in terms of providing details about the missing persons. However, the government issued the release orders of the majority of these citizens. He also denied the very existence of a Baloch lady, Zarina Marri, saying that the official data did not show any person with this name.
“Those who have given an ultimatum of 72 hours are the enemies of Pakistan and they deliberately want the international community’s pressure on Pakistan. It is unfair to harm the people who have come to help the humanity. The kidnapping of John Solecki has sent a very negative message across the world,” he said.
Rehman said the government, while investigating the whereabouts of the missing UN official, had attained some indications about the case and would soon disclose the details with the media.
Meanwhile, the government officials, police and intelligence agencies in Quetta on Saturday seemed to have gone berserk in the wake of a 72-hour ultimatum given by the BLUF for the acceptance of its demands. In a video issued on Friday, the UN official had requested for help saying that he was not feeling well and the UN should get him released. Since February 2nd, when the UN official was kidnapped after his driver was shot dead, the police and intelligence agencies have not made an inch of progress to locate the UN official.
The kidnapping of the Balochistan head of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) remained the topic of public debate thought the provincial capital on Saturday. Awestruck, the citizens have been following every development in this unprecedented case on the television.