AWP condoles death of Ataullah Mengal, a veteran Baloch nationalist politician

Karachi: The Awami Workers Party expresses deep sorrow over the passing of veteran Baloch politician Sardar Ataullah Mengal and heartfelt condolences to his family members, friends and followers.

Sardar Ataullah Mengal passed away on Thursday after a protracted illness at a hospital in Karachi at the age of 92.

In a condolence message the AWP leadership including founding President Abid Hassan Minto, Federal President Yousuf Mustikhan, General Secretary Akhtar Hussain, Deputy GS Ismat Shahjehan, Federal Committee members Dr Farzana Bari, Asim Sajjad Akhtar, Balochistan chapter President Yousuf Kakar, Sindh President Dr Bakhshal Thalho, KPK President Haider Zaman, Seraiki Waseb president Farhat Abbas, Punjab President Ammar Rasheed, GB chairman Baba Jan, JKWP chairman Nisar Shah and others expressed heartfelt condolences with Sardar Akhtar Mengal and his family members on the passing of the veteran leader.

“Sardar Ataullah Mengal was one of the great nationalist leaders who remained committed to the cause of the people of Balochistan and other oppressed nations till his last breath. Ataullah Mengal’s generation fused nationalist politics with anti-imperialist principles and class struggle,” the statement read.

“Pakistan has lost a genuine secular democrat politician who remained true to his ideals till his last breath and for years remained in jail. He struggled for the rights of his people and for making Pakistan a secular democratic country.

“With his passing an era of decency, tolerance and politics of principles and ideals has ended.

Mengal who entered into politics in the 50s on the insistence of Mir Ghaus Bukhsh Bizenjo served as the first elected Chief Minister of Balochistan from May 1, 1972, to February 13, 1973, laid the foundation of a number of reforms in Balochistan, particularly in the education sector.

His government was dissolved by then Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto after imposing the governor’s rule in Balochistan. He was later imprisoned for a long period because of his resistance against the army operation in Balochistan. He spent the later years of his life in exile in London and came back in 1990. Later, he actively took part in Balochistan’s politics.

He was one of the founding leaders of the Pakistan Oppressed Nations’ Movement comprising of nationalist political parties of the smaller provinces in the country.