QUETTA, Aug 11: Although the “war against terror” was imposed on the country after the attacks in the United States in Sept 2001, it had now turned into “a battle for survival of Pakistan”, the interior minister said in Quetta on Sunday.
“The entire nation should be on the same page in the 'war against terror’ as it has now become a battle for survival of Pakistan even though it was imposed on us,” Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said at a press conference after chairing a meeting on law and order.
He said the fight against terrorists would continue under a “comprehensive national security policy” to be unveiled soon.
The army would provide 5,000 sub-machine guns (SMGs) to Balochistan and start a training programme for police on an emergency basis, the minister added.He said that despite recent terrorist attacks, the morale of security forces was high and they were ready to take the fight to terrorists.
The meeting reviewed the law and order situation in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in the province.
Chief Minister Abdul Malik Baloch, Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad, Home Secretary Akbar Durrani, IG Police Mushtaq Sukhera, IG Frontier Corps Obaidullah Khattak and other senior police officers attended the meeting.
The chief secretary and the home secretary briefed the interior minister about the law and order situation in the province and steps taken by the provincial government.
Chaudhry Nisar expressed concern over last week’s attack in Police Lines, the killing of 13 passengers in Bolan district and the shooting near a mosque on Eid day, terming them an attempt to demoralise the security forces and police.
“Our police, civil armed forces and personnel of other security institutions are determined to defeat the terrorists,” the minister said, praising Balochistan Police and Frontier Corps for standing up to them.
He disclosed that a number of people had been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the killing of 13 Punjab-bound bus passengers in Bolan. “Security forces have achieved success in some other incidents of terrorism in Balochistan.”
The interior minister said that a decision to make Quetta a secure and arms-free city would be taken soon and police, FC, Levies and other security institutions had assured to comply.
SECURITY POLICY: In reply to a question, he said the national security policy was under preparation. “We want to give a security policy that can be implemented without any hurdle.” He said the federal government and its institutions concerned were studying security policies of several countries.
He said no government during the past 13 years had thought about preparing a national security policy, but the present government had decided to thrash out a “comprehensive and meaningful policy” to rid the country of terrorists and their networks.
The policy would be finalised after consulting leaders of all political parties and stakeholders, he added.
He said that it was a war against an unseen enemy who was different in Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“We have to set Balochistan on the track of development,” he added.
Chaudhry Nisar condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Quetta and said that the federal government would extend all help to the Balochistan government to fight terrorism.
He said the provincial government would be given financial assistance and modern security equipment and help in capacity building of police and civil armed forces. Islamabad was also ready to send competent police officers on the request of the Balochistan government, he added.
The minister said army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kyani had told him that the Pakistan Army would provide 5,000 SMGs to Balochistan police very soon.
He admitted that incidents of terrorism in the province had risen over the past six weeks, but termed them a reaction to unprecedented success of law enforcement agencies against the terrorist outfits which were active in the province.
He said security forces had also succeeded to arresting all suspects allegedly involved in an attack on a bus of a women university and foiled innumerable acts of terrorism.
Mr Nisar stressed the need of a better coordination among the provincial government, Balochistan Frontier Corps, local set-up of Inter Services Intelligence and Intelligence Bureau to restore peace in the province.
He said an inquiry was under way at federal and provincial levels about the recent suicide attack in the police lines in Quetta in which DIG Fayyaz Sumbal and 20 other policemen lost their lives.
He announced a gallantry award for DIG Fayyaz Sumbal, holding out an assurance that all possible assistance would be provided to families of the dead police officials.In reply to a question, he said: “Our eastern and western borders are completely safe.”