LAHORE - Chief of Jamhoori Watan Party (Talal) Shahzain Bugti does not see any breakthrough in the ongoing talks between the government and the Baloch separatists.

“The government should first initiate the dialogue process with leaders who are sitting in Balochistan and willing to play their role within the constitutional framework,” he said in an interview to The Nation yesterday. Shahzain believed that government’s reconciliatory move towards separatists sitting abroad would prove to be a futile exercise as they represented only a fraction of the population in the province.

“Khan of Kalat, Brahamdagh Bugti, Harbiyar Murri don’t represent the entire population of Balochistan,” he argued, adding that the government should take the pro-Pakistan Baloch leaders on board for devising a workable formula to resolve the Balochistan issue.

“Our basic difference with the self-exiled leaders is that they want to segregate Balochistan from rest of the country whereas we are loyal to the Constitution. We just want the government to accept our basic rights to health and education and Baloch people’s right to its resources,” he replied while answering a question.

“Dr Malik’s National Party-led coalition government is not the true representative of the people of Balochistan and it grabbed power with the backing of the establishment that always put in place their stooges in the restive province,” he claimed.

“I have appealed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take notice of the conduct of Dr Malik’s government, speed up confidence-building measures with the Baloch people and give them their due rights otherwise the situation in Balochistan can become more complicated,” Shahzain warned. “Dr Malik is not a real representative of nationalist parties’ government,” he added. When asked if PML-N’s Sardar Sanaullah Zehri takes over Balochistan power wheel, he said, “I don’t think that PML-N would ever opt for Zehri.”

“The Baloch people should be allowed to elect their real representatives which can be possible only under a free and fair election,” Shahzain said.

“Neither I nor my late grandfather and chief leader of Baloch rights demanded that royalty of gas should be our property. We have always demanded that it should go to the true representative government of the Balochistan which should be utilised for the good of the entire Baloch people,” he claimed.

Appreciating the role of Lt-Gen (r) Nasir Janjua for peace in Balochistan, Shahzain said, “General Janjua gone extra-mile for bringing peace in the volatile province by applying carrot and stick policy which I think is a need in the miserable law and order situation. But army can only restore law and order and rest of the job concerning the populace is the responsibility of the political elite which unfortunately has not the capacity to do it.”

Who rules the Bugti throne (Dera Bugti), Shahzain claimed his brother was looking after the affairs of the tribe in Dera Bugti and he had no interest in Bugti’s seat of power. “Ally Bugti who was crowned as head of my tribe after the martyrdom of my grandfather under curfew by the intelligence agencies ran away after sometime. It is the Baloch mindset that they don’t accept the representatives of the secret services or establishment,” he maintained.

When asked who put your family in Dera Bugti, he claimed: “The people of my tribe.”

Shahzain also claimed that he was the only chief of Jamhoori Watan Party founded by his grandfather Shaheed Nawab Akbar Bugti.

However, Jamhoori Watan Party (Ally) is also in place, besides the claims of late Nawab’s son-in-law Agha Shahid Bugti on the party.