ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Army on Tuesday vowed to defeat terrorism as heirs of the Mach massacre victims refused to bury the dead for a third consecutive day in their wait for categorical assurances from the authorities for bringing the killers to justice.
“Terrorists and their abettors will be defeated at all costs,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the military, said in a statement on the Corps Commanders Conference, which discussed the recent incidents of terrorism in Balochistan as part of their deliberations on internal security.
Two major incidents happened in the province over the past 10 days, including the attack on a Frontier Corps post in Sharig, Harnai, on December 26 that claimed the lives of seven soldiers and the massacre of 11 coal miners in Mach area of Bolan district by the so-called Islamic State, also known as Daesh, on January 3.
“The participants paid special tribute to all shuhada and their families for supreme sacrifices rendered for peaceful and secure Pakistan especially the recent incidents in Balochistan. Their sacrifices won’t go waste,” ISPR said.At least 500 people belonging to Hazara tribe have been killed in terrorist attacks since 2003. The attacks have occurred at a frequent interval over the past 10 years.
Since Sunday, families of the Mach incident victims have been holding a sit-in in biting cold on Quetta’s western bypass to press for action against the terrorists. They refused to call off their protest on Monday when Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed visited the mourners in Quetta and demanded that Prime Minister Imran Khan visit them to assure them about justice for the slain miners and security.
The commanders, meanwhile, observed that “defeat of complete threat spectrum” needed a “comprehensive national effort” involving “all segments of the society”.
Besides internal security, the commanders also discussed regional environment, particularly situation along the borders, and other professional matters of the Army.
“Forum specially discussed the ongoing security situation along the Line of Control, Working Boundary and Eastern Border,” ISPR said.
Pakistan has time and again warned that Indian actions were endangering region’s peace. Fears have also been expressed that India could be planning aggression against Pakistan for defusing internal pressure and diverting world attention from the aggravating situation in Occupied Kashmir.
“Training and professional pursuits must remain our prime focus to enhance operational preparedness and thwart any possible misadventure,” the corps commanders noted.
Gen Bajwa said: “Highest standards of capability and maintaining cutting edge at all levels is vital to meet all challenges in tandem with other elements of national power.”
The commanders expressed solidarity with the Kashmiris on the occasion of the Right of Self-Determination Day. “Decades of atrocities by Indian Occupation Forces have failed to suppress ever strengthening freedom struggle. Determined Kashmiris shall succeed, InshaAllah,” they maintained.
Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2021