The forces must be sent back to barracks, military operations must be ceased – Akhtar Mengal

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Addressing the Pakistan Democratic Movement protest in front of the Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday, BNP-Mengal Chief Akhtar Mengal said that military operations must be ceased in Balochistan and the forces must be sent back to their barracks. He said that it is ironical that we are standing on the Constitution Avenue today, surrounded by prestigious government buildings, and yet we only ask for the “supremacy of the constitution.”

“People want supremacy of the Constitution but the rulers and establishment have crushed it under their boots”, he said.

Referencing Pakistani PM Imran Khan’s alleged involvement of foreign funding, he said that if a party from Balochistan was involved in illegal funding, it would have been readily accused of “treason. “We have not run our parties on foreign funding but there has been a trend of saying ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ and then eating it up,” he said. He added that if you smuggle weaponry and dead bodies in a vehicle bearing the Pakistani flag, no one will question you.

Mengal also mentioned the National Awami Party, saying that it had been accused of similar illegalities which were never proven. And yet this nationalist party was forced to remain politically confined within the premises of districts through well-planned conspiracies.

The Wagah Border is at a few kilometres distance from Lahore, and yet “foreign agents” are almost always discovered in Balochistan. Why not here? he asked.

The BNP-Mengal chief further said that those who should be politically disqualified remain unscathed, but a man like Ali Wazir, an elected member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, is being framed for the intentions of disqualifying him.

The Pakistan Democratic Movement – a 10-party opposition alliance – held a protest outside the headquarters of the Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday against the “unacceptable delay” in the ruling party PTI’s foreign funding case.

Addressing the gathering, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz said that the rally has gathered outside the ECP to remind it of its constitutional obligations.

She termed the PTI foreign funding case as the “biggest fraud in Pakistan’s history”, saying that the case against her father – PML-N Supremo Nawaz Sharif – had been expedited and decided within days, but the ECP has only held “70 hearings” of the PTI case since 2014.


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