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Quetta: The inspector general of the Frontier Corps (FC) in Balochistan, Maj Gen Sher Afgun, said on Monday that peace had been restored in most parts of Balochistan and the FC would continue work for providing security to people.

He was addressing a press conference at FC headquarters. FC Deputy Inspector General Brig Tahir Mehmood and other senior officers were also present.

“No private lashkar (armed group) will be allowed to work in any area to cause disturbances in the province,” said Maj Gen Sher Afgun.

He added that the FC would take action against armed groups if they appeared in the area or caused any trouble. According to the FC’s inspector general (IG), some areas of Balochistan, e.g. Panjgur, Awaran and Turbat had been facing an insurgency like situation, but some semblance of normality had returned to these places, too.

He said the militants had been confined to their hideouts and while some had surrendered, some had been killed during security operations.

Maj Gen Sher Afgun denied reports that the Aman Force was working in Dera Bugti. The IG FC said that a large number of insurgents and militants had approached the FC, other law enforcement agencies and the administration to surrender after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced Rs 0.5 billion as financial aid to militants who gave themselves up.

Maj Gen Sher Afgun said events related to Independence Day were being held in Panjgur and many areas of the province where it was not possible earlier. Since the law and order situation had improved in Khuzdar, Kalat, Turbat, Gwadar, Kharan, Washuk and Chagai where people were enthusiastic about celebrating Aug 14, he added.

According to the IG, FC personnel have been deployed all over the province to fight insurgents and criminals. “Even in Quetta city, four wings of the FC have been deployed to maintain law and order,” he said.

“Action was taken against Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants who had entered Zohb and Loralai districts. A large number of TTP activists and supporters were arrested.”

People of the areas where insurgents and militants were present were cooperating with security forces to get peace restored in their neighbourhoods, the FC chief added.

In reply to a question, the IG FC said spy agencies of India and Afghanistan were fuelling insurgency and unrest. “Indian intelligence agency RAW and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security have been funding and providing training to militants to cause unrest and wage insurgency in Balochistan,” he said.

The IG FC said over 50,000 personnel were deployed on the Pak-Afghan border. He added that they were also been providing security of pilgrims visiting Iran through the Quetta-Taftan National Highway.

“The FC is playing a pivotal role in the fight against smuggling drugs and weapons, Iranian diesel and other items,” said Maj Gen Sher Afgun. “The FC destroyed poppy crop cultivated on 2,000 acres of land in different areas of northern Balochistan.”

He added that that the FC had dug a 500 kilometre long trench along the Pak-Afghan border to put an end to militants entering the country and control smuggling.

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2015

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