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Baloch unrest is suddenly Pakistan's biggest challenge

August 01, 2009 14:19 IST

The Taliban expanding its writ is no longer the primary concern of Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Rather it is the unrest in Balochistan that is troubling him the most.

Presiding over a meeting of senior officials that was convened to discuss the Balochistan situation, Gilani said the Baloch conflict is the most daunting task before the government.
 
"The situation in Balochistan is the most challenging task currently facing the government, where militant organisations are continuing their subversive and terrorist activities," Gilani said.

Interestingly, Gilani's comments come days after the Sharm-el-Sheikh joint statement, issued after his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Islamabad claims that Gilani had expressed his reservations over New Delhi's involvement in fanning unrest in Balochistan.

During the meeting, Gilani urged the political leaders to support the federal government's initiatives to normalise situation in the country's largest province.

"The Balochistan problem needs to be resolved through political dialogue," Gilani told the leaders and urged the participants to use their offices and support the federal government in controlling the situation in the country's largest province.

He emphasised on the need for the senior officials to observe 'austerity' in their official and personal lives.

"Everybody must take full cognisance of the overwhelming poverty that afflicts the country," Gilani said.

The meeting was also attended by Interior Advisor Rehman Malik, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Babar Awan  and several other top officials.  

Source: ANI