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Enemies plan to foment violence in Balochistan, Senate panel told

Updated November 08, 2018


Pakistani Army soldiers arrive at the Balochistan Police Training College in Quetta when it was attacked by terrorists in 2016. -AFP/File
Pakistani Army soldiers arrive at the Balochistan Police Training College in Quetta when it was attacked by terrorists in 2016. -AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Inspector General of the Balochistan Frontier Corps Maj Gen Nadeem Anjum informed a Senate panel on Wednesday that enemies of Pakistan planned to raise the level of violence in the province to force the United Nations to intervene and declare it an independent state.

During a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior, he said that Balochistan had become a battleground for a global game.

“Things are being manipulated just like in Libya and Yemen. In the past, unrest was created in some areas of Balochistan, but it is the first time that efforts are being made to create unrest across the province. However, our success is that the people are rejecting the conspiracy,” he said.

Minister says collective efforts needed to strengthen institutions, law enforcement agencies

While sharing the history of the province before creation of Pakistan, Maj Gen Anjum said the Quaid-i-Azam spoke about the issues of Balochistan, but Britishers told him that Balochistan was an ordinary tehsil of Uttar Pradesh.

He said that the FC was ensuring security of all the matters from railway tracks to pilgrims. Earlier, only 15,000 pilgrims travelled through Balochis­tan, but now around 150,000 pilgrims were using this route.

“People have rejected the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, Baloch Republican Army, Balochistan Liberation Army, Baloch Liberation Front and Lashkar-i-Balochistan. These organisations have failed to engage or attract youths and the militant Islamic State group does not have its footprint in the province. In just one year weapons worth Rs3 billion have been seized,” he said.

“There are thousands of success stories in Balochistan, but media only shows bomb blasts and terrorism. When people of the province hold rallies in favour of Pakistan, media highlights the stories regarding donkeys. On the other hand, the foreign media use Bollywood and Hollywood movies and claim that it is going on in Balochistan,” he claimed.

Maj Gen Anjum said that besides maintaining law and order in Balochistan, the FC was running nearly 100 schools from its own resources and providing free healthcare to the people. He said that soldiers were protecting and shielding the national assets just because of their love for the country.

“The FC has set up 77 schools in Balochistan in which 24,500 students are studying and built 12 hostels for poor children. We have built more than 60 medical centres which treat 260,000 patients annually,” he said.

Minister of State for Interior Sheheryar Afridi said that practical and collective efforts were needed to be taken to strengthen institutions and law enforcement agencies.

The committee’s chairman, Rehman Malik, said the nation stood by the Pakistan Army in the war against terrorism and anti-state elements. The Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), in collaboration with the Afghan intelligence agency was carrying out terrorist activities in Balochistan, he alleged.

He said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had himself admitted to his government’s involvement in Balochistan.

The committee called for strengthening the FC by increasing its budget and fully equipping it with modern gadgets and a helicopter.

Mr Malik asked for a separate housing scheme for the Balochistan FC, particularly for the families of martyrs.

He informed the committee that he had taken notice of hacking of banking data of the customers and directed the interior ministry, State Bank of Pakistan and Federal Investigation Agency to submit their reports on the matter within 10 days.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2018