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September 15, 2020

Hasil Bizenjo hailed for his services for democracy, social justice


September 15, 2020

Speakers at a condolence meeting on Monday paid rich tributes to veteran parliamentarian from Balochistan and National Party (NP) leader and senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, who passed away in Karachi in August after a prolonged battle with lung cancer.

The Karachi Press Club organised the gathering at the club’s auditorium, where speakers paid rich tributes to the late Bizenjo for his unwavering commitment to democracy and his politics of principles.

Former chief minister Abdul Malik Baloch said the late Bizenjo would always be remembered for raising his voice for democracy, social justice and welfare of the oppressed people.

Baloch said that he and Bizenjo, who was heading the Baloch National Democratic Party at that time, were under severe pressure from the then military regime to support General Pervez Musharaf after the overthrew the Pakistan Muslim Leauge-Nawaz’s government in 1999. “The situation pushed us to merge our political groups and form NP.”

Baloch, who is now NP’s central president, said that Bizenjo and other party leaders took the important decision to take part in the 2013 election in Balochistan in a situation when violence was at its peak.

“The NP was stuck between the two extremes and had lost its forty to fifty colleagues, including Moula Bakhsh Dashti and Naseem Jangian,” he said. But despite it, the party continued its politics of peace and tolerance, he said.

Dr Syed Jaffer Ahmed, former director, Pakistan Study Center, University of Karachi, said Bizenjo in the last years of his life was worried about the depoliticisation of society. “He [Bizenjo] used to show his concerns that youths are not becoming part of the politics in the country,” Ahmed said.

Citing a report of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT), he said internal democracy was very weak in Pakistani political parties. “But the NP has a distinction to maintain inner democracy within its ranks,” he said.

Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi, an NP senator, said that Bizenjo and his colleagues at the NP since the beginning insisted that the solution of Balochistan’s issues was in negotiations, not in violence.

He said the NP’s government has initiated talks with separatist leaders in Balochistan. “But after the end of two and half years’ tenure of the NP government in Balochistan

and change of the army chief, the talk process discontinued.”

Shahi said that because of the 18th amendment, 17 subjects were devolved to the provinces, but simultaneously 12 new subjects were introduced to the Centre.

Jan Muhammad Buledi, an NP’s central leader, said the late politician was an honest politician who had never compromised on his principles despite threats to his life. Sohail Sangi, a political observer, said Bizenjo and his father, Mir Ghous Bux Bizenjo, appeared as a witness in his favour in the Hyderabad conspiracy case despite not knowing him.

“In the past 10 years in Balochistan, where political cadres were not allowed to do politics, it was the NP which toed the line of democracy bravely,” Sangi said. Tausif Ahmed Khan, a political analyst who moderated the session, said he attended the NP’s last council meeting held to elect the party’s new leadership where participants of the meeting criticised Bizenjo for his decisions during his presidency. “I did not see such democracy and openness in other political parties.” KPC President Imtiaz Khan Faran, Vice-President Saeed Sarbazi, senior journalists Aziz Sanghur and Shahid Jatoi also spoke at the condolence gathering.