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Khetran chieftain accuses govt of wavering against terrorists

March 12, 2006

QUETTA, March 11: Chief of the Khetran tribe Sardar Abdur Rehman Khetran claimed that the Marri and Bugti insurgents had re-established their camps where areas of the three tribes converged and accused the government of hesitating to deal sternly with saboteurs who were laying landmines.

He was speaking at a press conference at the press club here on Saturday.

He said that Friday’s incident had occurred in the Khetran area in Barkhan district and most of the victims were women and children.

Mr Rehman alleged that India was providing financial support to Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri’s sons and said that the troublemakers were being supp-

lied weapons from the Waziristan area.

Sardar Khetran, who is also provincial vice-president of the ruling PML, said that the government’s indecisiveness had encouraged terrorists in Dera Bugti and Kohlu to re-emerge and create trouble for pro-government tribesmen.

Victims of Friday’s incident were ethnic Baloch, but the so-called nationalist political groups did not condemn the killing of innocent children and women, he said, adding that their silence had exposed their dubious character.

Sardar Khetran criticised the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) for maintaining silence over the laying of landmines by followers of Nawab Bugti and Nawab Marri.

Mr Rehman, whose wife is a minister in the Jam Yousuf-led coalition cabinet, rejected the government’s claim about dismantling fugitive camps in Dera Bugti and Kohlu areas and said that he could prove their existence to the media.

The chief of the Khetran tribe warned that if the government failed to take decisive action against terrorists in the Bugti and Marri areas, the pro-government tribesmen in neighbouring districts would be left with no option but to submit to terrorists in view of the government’s helplessness in providing them security.

He urged the government to employ all means at its disposal to eliminate terrorists and ensure the completion of development projects, facilitate the people with provision of amenities and protect the life and property of ordinary citizens.