QUETTA: Balochistan’s apex committee on Monday decided to increase the role of Levies Force in maintaining law and order a day after twin attacks in the province’s capital injured seven people.

The committee — comprising top civil and military officials of the province — also decided to empower police and Levies force to act against terrorists and their facilitators.

Levies Force is a community force which operates as one of two primary law enforcement agencies in the province, alongside the police.

The meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo, also reviewed the overall law and order situation of the province.

The meeting also decided to expedite the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) in the province.

Body vows to empower police for action against terrorists, facilitators; CTD registers cases over twin attacks

Additional Chief Secretary Home Zahid Saleem briefed the meeting about the progress on the decision made during the committee’s last meeting.

He said a programme to reform prisons has been initiated and in the first phase, Rs800 million has been allocated while another Rs100m has been earmarked for the construction of a prison in Quetta district.

The chief minister issued directives to complete the reforms programme as soon as possible.

Balochistan Inspector General of Police Abdul Khaliq Sheikh briefed the meeting on operations conducted by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) against the outlawed terrorist organisations and smugglers.

The meeting also made important decisions to improve the performance of police, CTD and special protection units and further decided to launch effective operations against smugglers.

Expressing concern over accidents on the province’s highways, the meeting decided to ban the transport of petrol and other flammable materials in passenger buses.

Across the province, commissioners and deputy commissioners have been asked to enforce the ban and take strict actions against the violators.

The chief minister has also issued orders to eliminate unnecessary check posts on national highways.

While addressing the meeting, the chief minister emphasised the need to eliminate terrorists, their facilitators and safe havens. He directed officials to take tribal and political leaders into confidence and seek their cooperation over measures to establish law and order.

Case registered

Separately, CTD registered FIRs in connection with Sunday’s twin blasts — one near Police Lines at Gulistan Road area in which five people were injured, and the second which took place at Mano Jan road, where unknown motorcyclists hurled a hand grenade which exploded inside a house, injuring a woman and her daughter.

A senior police official told Dawn that the FIRs were registered at the CTD police station against unknown attackers. He added that as per the initial investigation, both blasts were caused by hand grenades while further investigation was underway.

Earlier reports suggested that the Police Lines blast was a suicide attack but the police did not confirm it.

Published in Dawn, February 7th, 2023

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