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Friday April 19, 2024

Sarfraz Bugti urges Baloch insurgents to shun violence, hold 'dialogue'

Sarfraz Bugti wins chief minister election unopposed by 41 votes; politician to take oath today

By Web Desk
March 02, 2024
Balochistan Governor Abdul Wali Kakar administers oath to Sarfraz Bugti as provinces chief minister at the Governor House on March 2, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/PTV News Live
Balochistan Governor Abdul Wali Kakar administers oath to Sarfraz Bugti as province's chief minister at the Governor House on March 2, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/PTV News Live

QUETTA: In his victory speech on Saturday, Sarfraz Bugti — the newly elected chief minister of Balochistan — extended an olive branch to Baloch insurgents, outlining the provincial government's plan to engage with them on the country's mainstream political front.

Bugti called on the rebels to join Pakistan's politics and play their role in the province’s development.

“Deterrence and dialogue are the two options that the government has to address the [law and order] situation in Balochistan,” he said.

The chief minister, in his speech, urged the Baloch insurgents to continue their struggle while adhering to the Constitution of Pakistan, stressing that there will be no compromise on the state’s writ.

He noted that those fighting for their “rights” can only achieve their goals via the parliamentary route and not armed struggle.

Bugti, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader, was elected as the leader of the house "unopposed" after bagging 41 votes in the Balochistan Assembly. Speaker Abdul Khaliq Achakzai chaired the session.

The chief minister was sworn in as the province's chief executive by Governor Abdul Wali Kakar in a ceremony held at the Governor House.

Expressing gratitude to those who voted for him, including the opposition parties, Bugti underscored that the fact that the speaker, deputy speaker and the leader of the house were elected “unopposed” has given a “message of consensus” at a time when the province is going through difficult times.

Commenting on the PPP’s role as a party that represents the federation, the chief minister claimed that it is only the Bilawal Bhutto-led party that can address and solve the crises that have gripped the country.

“I have faith that Asif Ali Zardari will steer the country out of the crises,” Bugti said while stressing the need for reconciliatory politics in present times.

Terming governance, terrorism and climate change as the leading issues faced by the province, the chief minister went on to provide a roadmap with regard to the government’s strategy to tackle these challenges.

On the issue of governance, Bugti stressed that the legislators and the province’s bureaucracy need to own up and not blame others for their shortcomings.

“How long will we blame other people?” he questioned during his speech.

Announcing the enforcement of an emergency in the education sector, the CM reassured that his government would give a comprehensive plan of action with regard to reforms to improve the province’s education system.