QUETTA - The Balochistan government on Sunday strongly denied reports that some provincial ministers were involved in kidnapping for ransom and smuggling cases.

A spokesman in an official handout, while reacting to the news item published in some newspapers, said those having reservations should provide proofs and identify the culprits. “The government is taking steps to curb incidents of kidnapping in the province,” he said, adding that law and order problem was not limited to Balochistan, as it was affecting the whole country.

He stated that the provincial government from the day one had made it clear that the use of force was not the solution to the Balochistan problem, which should be resolved politically.

Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani repeatedly offered the disgruntled Baloch people to initiate dialogue, but they did not respond positively, the spokesman said, adding that the government still believed in talks as the only way forward.

The spokesman said the provincial government was making efforts to resolve all the issues through consensus and amicably; therefore, he had announced to withdraw politically-motivated cases and released several political prisoners soon after taking oath of the office. According to the handout, the provincial government has always condemned the recovery of decomposed bodies from different parts of the province because it is further deteriorating the situation.

Pointing to the fact that Balochistan has always been ignored, he said the wrong policies of the previous governments and constantly ignoring Balochistan had increased the sense of deprivation prevailing amongst the people; however, the incumbent government was taking result-oriented steps to improve the situation.

The spokesman termed alleged closure of educational institutions and lack of development activities mentioned in the report as baseless and explained that development projects were in progress across the province, while the education sector was a top priority of the government. However, he noted that the targeted killing of teachers, doctors and technical persons caused serious loss to education and health sectors.

Referring to recent congressional hearing on Balochistan in the US, the spokesman stressed that it was an internal issue of Pakistan and no country had to interfere in this manner.

He claimed foreign hands were involved in deteriorating law and order situation in Balochistan.