QUETTA: President Pervez Musharaf will arrive in Balochistan’s capital on a two-day visit on Friday.

President Musharraf will open a gas pipeline project and meet people from different walks of life. Security has been stepped up in Quetta in the wake of President Musharraf’s visit.

A large number of police has been deployed on important roads and sensitive places. President Musharraf will hold meetings with the governor, chief minister and military officials in Quetta. He will also meet journalists and highlight the Gwadar project and the government’s plan to build military cantonments.

The visit will take place amid rising tension between the federal government and nationalist groups. Four nationalist parties consisting of the Jamhoori Watan Party, Balochistan National Party, National Party and the Haq Tawar have opposed the Gwadar project and the government’s plan to build new garrisons in the province. Tension has increased in the wake of recent bomb explosions and rockets attacks on military installations.

The president’s principal secretary met Nawab Akbar Bugti in Dera Bugti last month to discuss the situation and announced that the federal government would begin dialogue with nationalists in its effort to resolve the matter peacefully. Sardar Attaullah Mengal met former prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain in Islamabad.

At the time the nationalists said the meeting might well lead to the settlement of the matter but then accused the government of falling back on its promise to look into their concerns. Militant groups including the Baloch Liberation Army and the Baloch Liberation Front oppose dialogue with the government.

It is the first time President Musharraf will visit to Quetta after an attack on military personnel in Khuzdar and a bomb explosion in Gwadar which killed three Chinese nationals.

Source: Daily Times