Pak PM Imran Khan indicates he is considering 'talking to insurgents' in Balochistan

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Islamabad, Jul 5 (PTI) Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday indicated that he is considering 'talking to insurgents' in Balochistan and blamed the insurgency in the restive province on previous governments which failed to carry out development work in the region.

Balochistan province has been host to a long-running separatist insurgency. Activists in Balochistan say thousands of campaigners have gone missing in recent years and accuse the Pakistani military of brutally suppressing the region's aspirations for autonomy.

Addressing a gathering of local elders, students and businessmen in Gwadar during his day-long visit to the port city, Khan said that he is considering 'talking to insurgents' in Balochistan, Dawn reported.

He said the unrest in Balochistan was linked to poverty and backwardness and a government would never have had to worry about the insurgency if attention had been paid to its development.

'We have given the biggest package to Balochistan because we believe that justice has indeed not been done with the people of Balochistan and the people have been left behind,' he said.

Targeting the previous governments, Khan said that in the past the money that was supposed to be spent on the development of the province was spent by the politicians on themselves.

'The sense of deprivation that started spreading in Balochistan, it would never have spread if the politicians in Balochistan had spent money in the right way,' he said.

'It is possible that they (insurgents) have grievances…,” the premier said.

Khan said that the government had imposed a complete ban on the entry of foreign fishing trawlers in Pakistan's waters, including from China, to protect the local fishermen. He said that the Chinese government 'would not think bad, because we have very good relations with China'. PTI SH ZH

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