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'Baloch nationalist parties may boycott next polls'

Islamabad, Mon, 27 Feb 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Feb 27 (ANI): All Baloch nationalist parties may boycott the next general elections in Balochistan, as pressure builds from separatist groups to abandon parliamentary politics.


"There is a big question mark on whether nationalist groups of Balochistan will participate in the elections," The Express Tribune quoted Senator Shahid Hassan Bugti of the Jamhoori Wattan Party (JWP), as saying.


"It does not matter whether nationalist politicians agree with the ideology and demands of the separatists. The fact is they have sympathies for those in the mountains."


"Personally, I am disappointed by the way nationalist parties in parliament are being dealt with," Bugti, whose party also boycotted the 2008 polls, said echoing the sentiments of other Baloch parliamentarians.


His comments came after a US Congressman tabled a resolution in the House of Representatives seeking liberation for Balochistan.


The government has announced it will hold an All Parties Conference (APC) to explore how the unrest in Balochistan can be ended politically.


Experts fear the sense of alienation among ordinary Baloch can aggravate if nationalists decide to abandon parliamentary politics, a move that will surely give a boost to the separatist struggle.


"Demands for separatism will increase if political parties in the parliament decide to quit. Although there was widespread boycott last time, they never tried to alienate themselves from mainstream politics," Zafarullah Khan, a political analyst based in Islamabad, said. (ANI)


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