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QUETTA, March 27: The Balochistan cabinet has decided to clamp down on anti-Pakistan elements “with an iron hand” in order to maintain the writ of the government.

The cabinet took decisions for restoring law and order at a meeting on Tuesday.

Balochistan Assembly Speaker Mohammad Aslam Bhootani and MPA Sheikh Jaffar Khan Mandokhel attended the meeting on the invitation of Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani. Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad, IG Rao Amin Hashim and a number of secretaries to ministries were present at the meeting.

Official sources said the cabinet decided to give a free hand to police and Levies Force for action against anti-social elements.

Effective coordination and contacts would be ensured between public representatives and law enforcement agencies, the cabinet decided.

The government decided not to accept “political pressure” for postings and transfers of police officers. “All postings and transfers of police officers will be made on merit. No minister will recommend the name of any police officer for posting and transfer.”

According to sources, officials suggested measures for restoring normality and writ of the government. They suggested that government should take action against “anti-social and anti-Pakistan elements”.

“Anti-Pakistan elements should be tackled with an iron hand. Rule of law will be restored at any cost,” the cabinet decided, resolving to protect life and property in the province.

Sources said the cabinet also discussed cases of throwing of bullet-riddled bodies, terming it the main cause of worsening law and order in Balochistan.

The cabinet decided to take steps for restoring confidence of police and levies so that they took on criminals with self-assurance.

The cabinet observed that kidnappings for ransom posed a big challenge to the government, deciding to take steps against gangs involved in this dirty business.

The meeting also dwelt on ways to improve the provincial government’s credibility and came up with proposals to dispel an impression that it was doing nothing for restoring law and order.

Provision of facilities and upgrading of equipment used by police and Levies also came up at the meeting. The meeting was informed that the Balochistan government had approved purchase of sophisticated equipment for police and both forces would get more funds for repairing vehicles. It was also informed that PC-1 for establishing a forensic laboratory in Quetta was ready.

Jammers had been installed in Quetta and Mach jails, the meeting was told. A 300-strong security force is being established for Makran division.Chief Minister Nawab Raisani said maintaining peace and order was the government’s responsibility, urging people to come forward for foiling conspiracies aimed at pitting brother against brother and for stopping target killings in the province.