Addressing the media in Lahore, Anwar ul Haq Kakar, the caretaker Prime Minister of Balochistan, assured that families of missing persons have the right to protest, reiterating the government’s commitment to addressing their concerns. Kakar acknowledged the historical context of protests by families of missing persons and stressed the importance of conducting protests within the boundaries of the law.
Expressing solidarity with the people of Punjab, Kakar shared his empathy for their situation, drawing parallels with the issues faced by Balochistan. He highlighted that those who had protested on May 9 shared similar concerns, transcending regional boundaries. The caretaker Prime Minister emphasized the need for protests to remain peaceful and lawful, reinforcing his commitment to upholding constitutional values.
Discussing the prevailing challenges, Kakar shed light on the connection between the ongoing protests and the heightened police presence. He expressed concerns that individuals with a history of causing disturbances in Gaza were allegedly involved in the protests in Balochistan. Kakar urged authorities to investigate and scrutinize those involved in such activities, emphasizing the need to distinguish between genuine protesters and those supporting extremist ideologies.
Responding to a question regarding armed groups in Balochistan, Kakar candidly addressed the issue, stating that these groups were actively engaged in armed struggle against the state. He asserted that if anyone wanted to support these armed groups, they should join their camps. The caretaker Prime Minister emphasized that the government would not accept the families of missing persons being influenced by or showing support to extremist elements.
Kakar acknowledged the challenges faced by the province, with targeted killings of teachers, lawyers, and laborers occurring frequently. He passionately stated that while they acknowledge and accept the right to protest, they cannot accept terrorism. He urged the people to fight against terrorism in unity.
He also touched upon the topic of justice and accountability, expressing confidence in the judiciary and the legal system. Kakar reminded the audience of the atrocities committed during the 1971 war and the subsequent formation of Bangladesh, asserting that the current situation is different. He firmly rejected attempts to liken Balochistan’s situation to historical events, emphasizing that he, as a Baloch, has relations with three generations of Balochis and stands against terrorism.
On the matter of elections, Kakar assured that elections would take place, and efforts would be made to ensure a peaceful environment for them. He concluded by expressing his intention to cast his vote on February 8, emphasizing the importance of participating in the democratic process.