QUETTA - World powers have been eyeing gold and copper reserves of Reko Diq worth over $500 billion and due to their greed, they have been damaging the peace of Balochistan.

This was said by Pakistan Muslim League-Q leader Salma Hashmi while talking to media persons here on Sunday.

“Keeping in view the geopolitical position of Balochistan in the region and its gold and copper reserves, some international forces interfering into its matters indirectly,” she said and added the role of external forces in deteriorating law and order situation of Balochistan could not be ignored.

She said on one hand Balochistan had borders with Iran and Afghanistan besides lying on Arabian Sea where world traffic passes by and on the other it was rich in natural resources, including gold, silver, copper, oil, gas, chromites, iron, coal, precious gems and many others.

Hashmi was of the view that some external forces were behind the unrest and poor peace situation of Balochistan. She urged the external elements to avoid interfering into the affairs of Balochistan.

She underlined the need to resolve the Balochistan issue through dialogue. She, however, urged the federal government to take the Pakistan Army on board in talks with the Baloch nationalists.

Referring to enthusiasm of the youth during the recent Independence Day celebrations, she said “It was the first time after few years gap, that thousands of youths came out of their houses and thronged the city roads and streets to express their happiness and enjoyment on August 14.”

She said the people of all nationalities living in Balochistan, including Baloch, Pashtoon, Hazara, Sindhi and Seraiki, were loyal to Pakistan like those of other provinces.

She, however, lamented that some hidden hands were hatching conspiracies to spread sectarian hatred among the people in order to damage peace of the province. She urged the Federal Cabinet’s Parliamentary Committee on Balochistan to take on board leaders of all nationalities of Balochistan instead only holding meetings with government officials.

She reiterated that being a significant and important stakeholder, the Pakistan Army must be included in the dialogue process and other measures being taken to secure peace in Balochistan.

She appreciated the incumbent government for providing record funds to Balochistan with increase in its share in 7th National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, gas surcharge, 50 per cent share in income from all natural resources, including gas and oil and giving control of Gwadar deep seaport and Reko Diq gold and copper project to the provincial government.

She said now the ball was in the court of the provincial government to remove sense of deprivation among the people of Balochistan, besides resolving their legitimate problems at their doorsteps.