Maj-Gen Obaidullah ruled out involvement of the FC in kidnappings and target killings of Baloch activists. —File photo

QUETTA: Frontier Corps Inspector General Maj-Gen Obaidullah has said that the issue of Balochistan is purely political and it cannot be resolved by force.

Talking to journalists on Tuesday, he said political leaders and tribal elders of the province could play a role to bring the disgruntled Baloch to the negotiating table.

In reply to a question, he ruled out involvement of the Frontier Corps in kidnappings and target killings of Baloch activists. “It is not the policy of the state to kidnap, mutilate or target political activists,” he said.

However, Maj-Gen Obaid said a majority of the kidnapped and killed persons had been found involved in terrorist and criminal activities.

“There are strong indications that these political activists have been kidnapped and killed by their own patrons because of rifts in the ranks of militant organisations,” he claimed.

The FC chief said the law and order situation in the province was not satisfactory because although the number of terrorist and sabotage activities had dropped, the losses caused by them were more serious than last year.  He said 2,872 people, including 1,106 security personnel, had been killed and injured in attacks during the past year.  He pointed out that operational orientation of the FC had been changed in order to frustrate any ‘organised or unorganised’ threat on the borders.

The FC chief called upon the political and social circles in the province to condemn target killings of innocent civilians. He said there was no doubt about the involvement of foreign hand in the Balochistan insurgency. “Quelling an insurgency is almost impossible,” he said.

“Despite implementation of the Aghaz-i-Huqooq Balochistan package, abandoning the construction of cantonments in different parts of the province and converting the Sui military cantonment into an education city, settlement of the NFC award and other measures taken by the government, no positive response has been received from the armed groups,” he said.

About the recent killing of a major and 13 other security personnel in Bahlol village of Musakhail district, he said the contingent sent to the area for a peaceful purpose on the request of local people had come under a coordinated attack.

He said the FC would not spare the perpetrators of the attack and would bring them to justice.

The IG denied that the FC had received any funds from the provincial government and said the home department only provided fuel for the deployed forces. He said FC personnel were deployed in various areas for maintaining law and order and security of national installations. He said 50,000 FC personnel were serving in the province with a proportionate number deployed along the Afghan and Iranian borders.

“Besides watching the borders the force is also cooperating with the local security forces for maintaining law and order in some districts,” he said. In reply to a question, he regretted attacks on Nato supplies in Balochistan and said they were tarnishing the country’s image.

He said the fuel being supplied in oil tankers was the property of Pakistani firms.  The FC chief said that both political leaders and military commanders wanted peace and prosperity in the province.

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