President urges angry Baloch youths to work for progress

ZIARAT: President Mamnoon Hussain hoists the national flag during a ceremony at the renovated Ziarat Residency on Thursday to mark the birth anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.—Online

ZIARAT: President Mamnoon Hussain has appealed to Baloch youths to join hands with the government for progress and prosperity of the country, especially Balochistan.

Speaking at a function held to celebrate the birth anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah at Ziarat Residency on Thursday, the president said: “Baloch youths should set aside their anger as we have lost too much to anger. The country cannot afford further losses.”

He said people should sit together and share the pains and grievances of each other. “Our pains and sorrows are same and these can be removed only through talking to each other.”

Dialogue described as the only way to solve problems

The president said he wanted to see development and prosperity in Balochistan and for this purpose, Baloch youth should come forward and help the government.

Mr Hussain said that dialogue was the only solution to all problems, adding the government had urged disgruntled Baloch leaders more than once to come to the negotiating table. “The government stands by its offer.”

Also read: No more mercy for terrorists, says president

He praised the Balochistan government for restoring the Quaid’s residency in a short span of time after its destruction by militants last year. “The nation has an emotional attachment with this landmark as the Father of the Nation stayed here.”

He said the terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar had brought the entire nation to one platform. He said the government had adopted a strategy to eliminate terrorists and to make the country peaceful and terror-free. “The nation is waging a war against terrorists who have plunged the country into grief and anguish,” President Hussain said.

He recalled the role played by the people of Balochistan during the Pakistan movement.

Describing juniper forests as precious assets of the country, he said services of foreign experts would be sought to preserve them.

Highlighting the government’s efforts for economic development, the president said the proposed 4,000km Gwadar-Kashghar road would serve as an economic corridor which would benefit the country as well as the entire region. It will also benefit the people of Balochistan. He said no decision would be taken against the interest of the people of the province.

Balochistan Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai, Commander of Southern Command Lt Gen Mohammad Nasser Janjua, senators, provincial ministers, Chief Secretary Saifullah Chattah and large number of tribal elders and other people attended the function.

Meanwhile, addressing the Christians at the Holly Rosy Church in Quetta, President Hussain assured them that the government would protect the rights of minorities in the country as enshrined in the constitution. “No one will be allowed to do injustice with the minorities,” he said, adding that all citizens irrespective of their cast, colour and creed enjoyed equal rights in Pakistan.

He said the majority in the country believed in peace and stability, but a handful of anti-peace elements were playing with the lives of innocent people.

The president said the attack on a church in Peshawar and the brutal killing of schoolchildren were the bitter examples of barbarianism of terrorists. “It is a good omen that the entire nation, along with minority communities, is united against terrorism which has dented the real face of Islamic society.”

He praised the Christian community for expressing solidarity with the Muslims victimised by terrorist elements and said the majority Muslim also stood by them in their hours of need.

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