Pakistan won't talk with Baloch militants

June 28, 2006 at 1:32 PM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, June 28 (UPI) -- Pakistani Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao said that the government will not negotiate with the "miscreants" fomenting unrest in Balochistan.

During a meeting with journalists at the Interior Ministry, Sherpao said: "There is no question of talking to anyone involved in sabotaging the peace in the province. How could the government talk to those who are criminals and running Farrari (fugitive) camps?"

Pakistan's Dawn reported on June 27 that Sherpao warned Baloch militants to release their kidnap victims or the government would use force to free them, saying "the writ of the government will be established at any cost in the troubled areas."

Sherpao declined to give an exact number of people detained by militants, and did not answer a question about the location of one of the leading Baloch insurgents, Nawab Akbar Bugti.

An Interior Ministry source speaking on condition of anonymity said that the government had not had any direct contact with Bugti, adding: "The government knows that Mr. Bugti is still hiding in a hilly area of the province, but he cannot find a way to escape due to deployment of security personnel in the area."

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