A national history spanning over nearly seven decades has unfortunately failed to teach us the much-needed lesson on utility of appreciating diversity in federalism. Conveniently forgetting the ill-fated incident of dismemberment of the motherland, we choose to opt for the same path expecting different results. Furthermore, we refuse to label this menacing attitude of ours insanity. Ever since the inception of our country, the idea of provincial autonomy has been a distant dream for the largest federating unit of the country. Its natural resources have been persistently exploited by Islamabad at the expense of the natives. Its governments were first raised to the corridors of power and then subsequently dislodged by those who matter, citing doubts on their patriotism.

This overall disillusionment of a common Baloch and his lack of participation in the national polity might lead the situation to a point of no return. In the prevalent conditions, where human development index and law and order situation in the province are at their lowest ebb, all that Balochistan needs is acknowledgement of its grievances and development of an apt mechanism aimed at redress of its wounds. Mengal’s six points, therefore, can serve as a desperately needed panacea to undo the effects of past blunders. Let us vow to bring the alienated Baloch back into the national mainstream by employing the tools of dialogue and a complete halt to military operations. This is probably our last chance to make the federation flourish along the pattern set forth by the great leader — our Quaid.

Abdul Rauf Mahar,

Hyderabad, October 17.