Baloch separatist leader says Baluchistan, Kashmir incomparable

Baloch separatist leader says Baluchistan, Kashmir incomparable

SRINAGAR: Baloch separatist leader Brahamdagh Khan Bugti has said that Kashmir and Baluchistan were historically-different issues, hoping that India was not expressing concern just for “tit for tat”.
“The two problems—Kashmir and Balochistan—are different with different historical backgrounds,” Bugti was quoted as saying by Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper.
He, as per the report, was among half a dozen speakers, including Pakistan’s former ambassador Husain Haqqani, attending an event held to mark the death anniversary of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in Washington.
He has expressed hope that India was not using Balochistan as a “tit for tat” to get even with Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.
Bugti said he was not against political dialogue with the Pakistani government, but the talks should focus on Baloch demands.
“We are political people, we will talk. We are prepared for dialogue on the rights of the Baloch people,” he said, speaking via Skype from Geneva.
He, however, said that there was no certainty that any formula agreed to by the present government of Pakistan would be respected by its successor and the army.
Asked by a journalist to engage with Pakistan, Bugti said: “Why ask us? Why don’t you ask the Pakistani government, the army if they want to talk? If you are afraid of asking them, then admit that you are afraid.”
Baluchistan became the latest bone of contention in the Indo-Pak relations after the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, extended his support to the people of Baluchistan in their disagreements with Pakistan.
The Pakistan reacted strongly to the move, which is seen as India’s attempted counter to Pakistan’s support to ongoing anti-India uprising in Kashmir, saying that India had crossed the “red line” by mentioning Baluchistan.
There have been protests against Modi’s stance in Baluchistan and Gilgit-Baltistan, even as the chief minister of the former went on accuse India of fermenting trouble in the region.

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