QUETTA, May 4: The federal government has decided to withdraw Frontier Corps from Gwadar and Quetta and hand over the responsibility of managing the law and order to police in the two cities.

FC troops were seen withdrawing from their positions on Sunday evening.

“The government has decided to withdraw the FC troops from Gwadar and Quetta,” a senior official of the Frontier Corps, Balochistan, told Dawn. He said that the FC personnel would gradually vacate all posts in the cities.

Sources said that the chief security officer of Gwadar, who belonged to the FC, had been replaced by a deputy inspector-general of police. “A notification has been issued in this regard by the federal ministry of interior,” the officials said.

The provincial government had set up more than 40 pickets, jointly manned by personnel of the Frontier Corps, Balochistan Constabulary and police, following deterioration in the law and order situation in Quetta.

However, the sources in the FC said that paramilitary troops were being withdrawn because “there is no longer any need to keep them in the two cities”, adding that the Frontier Corps personnel were being recalled under an understanding reached with the Balochistan police chief.

The sources said that contingents of the newly-established Balochistan Constabulary and police were taking over control of Quetta and Gwadar.

“Personnel of the Balochistan Constabulary and police have already arrived in Gwadar and are replacing the FC troops,” a senior police officer told Dawn.

He said that posts previously manned by FC personnel in Quetta and suburbs would not be abolished. Instead, they would be handed over to the combined force of the constabulary and police.

However, officials said that FC troops would remain stationed in troubled areas like Dera Bugti and Kohlu to protect sensitive installations, including Sui gas plant and the pipeline network supplying natural gas all over the country.

APP adds: FC sources said more than 600 FC troops had been withdrawn from 28 checkposts in the provincial capital, adding that about the same number of troops had also been recalled from the Gwadar district.

They, however, refused to give the exact number of troops vacating checkposts in Gawadar district and other parts of the province.

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