Akhtar Mengal

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Sardar Akhtar Mengal
سردار اختر مینگل
Sardar akhtar mengal.jpg
Chief Minister of Balochistan
In office
February 22, 1997 – June 15, 1998
Preceded by Zulfikar Ali Magsi
Succeeded by Jan Mohammad Jamali
Personal details
Born Born: 6th, October, 1962
Balochistan
Nationality Baloch
Political party Balochistan National Party
Religion Muslim

Sardar Akhtar Mengal (Urdu: سردار اختر مینگل‎) is a Pakistani politician and a prominent baloch nationalist who served as the Chief Minister of the province of Balochistan in Pakistan. He presides and leads Balochistan National Party (BNP), a provincial political party calling for equal rights of Balochistan through peaceful and democratic struggle.[1][2]

In 1997, the BNP was the largest party in Balochistan and Akhtar Mengal was the chief minister. Mengal came to Pakistan after ending his self exile in Dubai on March 25, 2013 after four years to participate in 2013 election . Today, the party has only two seats to its name in the 51 member provincial assembly. One is Mengal’s own seat from his home constituency and the other is of Hamal Kalmati, who won from the strategic Gwadar constituency.Two candidates of the BNP, Esa Noori and Raouf Mengal, won national assembly seats from the Makran coastal region and Khuzdar, respectively. All the remaining candidates were defeated.[3][4]

Arrest and release[edit]

Akhtar Mengal was arrested in September 2006, along with around 700 other political workers, in a government crackdown in Balochistan. He was held because he was planning a long march against the former President Pervez Musharraf regime. He was reportedly produced in court in an "iron cage". He was released on May 9, 2008 and all charges against him were dropped by the Government of Sindh. The Balochistan government withdrew all cases, including those of sedition, against Sardar Akhtar Mengal, but Mengal’s Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) termed the action a “cosmetic measure taken by a powerless provincial government”. The actual centres of power in the country were the military and the intelligence agencies, he said,[who?] adding that the establishment did not support cooperation between political forces and did not want Mengal and hundreds of BNP leaders released.

The Balochistan National Party was holding a demonstration protesting the delay in Akhtar Mengal's release when word of Mengal’s release reached them. To express their pleasure, they distributed sweets on the occasion. Addressing party workers, BNP's acting president Jahan Zeb Jamaldini and Secretary General Habib Jalib demanded the release of all detained political leaders and workers, an end to military operations in Balochistan and the recovery of missing persons. They vowed that they would continue their fight against the feudal system. On March 25, 2013 Akhtar Mengal, chief of Balochistan National Party, returned to Pakistan from Dubai to take part in general elections in May 11, 2013.[5]

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