Worsening law and order has emerged as the biggest threat to Balochistan, where people allegedly carrying identity cards of intelligence agencies are abusing their authority for personal gains.
These views were expressed by Senator Hasil Bizenjo, the vice president of the National Party, at a roundtable discussion on Thursday.
The discussion on ‘Decoding Nexus between Criminal Gangs and Insurgents in Balochistan’ was organised by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), said a press release issued by the centre.
“These people are involved in all sorts of crimes while security agencies do not dare to stop them from their activities due to the nexus between the political elite, criminal gangs and agencies. This allows them to operate with impunity,” he said.
“When state institutions begin patronising crime, how can people feel safe,” he added.
The senator expressed regret over absence of writ of the state in the province, adding that Levies and Frontier Corps have become ineffective due to the collusion between criminal gangs and politicians.
Discussing the prospects of change in Balochistan following the coming elections, he said fresh elections bring changes but they cannot alter the entire status quo in the hapless region.
Sheikh Asad Rehman of Sungi Development Foundation also spoke on the rising tide of crime and militancy in the province. He emphasised on the need for civilians to lead political governance and called for withdrawal of federal security forces to resolve the Balochistan issue.
According to a recent report by the Balochistan Home Department, 1,493 people have been killed and 3,313 injured in 1,718 incidents of target killings and sectarian attacks in Balochistan from 2007 to February 15, 2012. The report points out that militant groups such as the Balochistan Liberation Army, Balochistan Republican Army, Balochistan United Liberation Front and Balochistan Liberation Front are spearheading violent activities.
The report categorically says that these outfits have developed a nexus with criminal gangs to supplement their strengths and extend their outreach. It also mentions the collusion of banned sectarian outfits with criminal gangs and insurgents.
Meanwhile, with regards to the natural resources of the province, Dr Ishaq Baloch, a senior member of the National Party, noted that local leaders are committing massive frauds in name of Reqo Diq project for personal gains by ousting the Tethyan Copper Company.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2012.