The provincial government devised on Sunday a comprehensive security plan that would help zero in on “terrorists” and assassins in Quetta, particularly those involved in the target killing of Shias.
The plan — crafted in response to the recent spate of sectarian attacks — was given the green light at a high-level meeting chaired by Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani.
The chief minister once again blamed foreign elements for the unrest and urged the political and religious leaders to maintain harmony.
According to an official handout, the meeting approved a comprehensive and long lasting security plan under which law enforcement agencies will begin targeted operations against terrorists fanning sectarian violence and those involved in other heinous crimes. “It will be result-oriented action,” the officials assured participants.
It was decided in the meeting to constitute committees comprising legislators that will monitor the implementation of the security plan and coordinate with law enforcement agencies to make the operation more effective.
Home Secretary Nasebullah Bazai informed the meeting that the provincial capital will be divided into 20 sectors and details of police check posts, pickets and patrolling teams have already been sought for this purpose.
Separate committees were formed by the home ministry to monitor the situation on a daily basis and keep a close eye on police officials. “Government will order departmental action against police officials over laxity and negligence or any untoward incident taking place in their jurisdiction,” he said.
The government is going to set up scanner gates on highways leading to Quetta, while the check posts of Frontier Corps (FC), police and Balochistan Levies will be established on other routes.
As many as 250 close circuit television (CCTV) cameras will be installed in the city while law enforcers will be provided with sophisticated weapons and transportation and communication facilities, Bazai said.
Provincial ministers Zafarullah Zahri, Ali Madad Jatak, Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob, Home Secretary Nasebullah Bazai, Inspector General Police Rao Amin Mohammad Hashim, leaders of the Shia Conference, Hazara community and others attended the meeting.
Shutter down strike
A crippling transport and shutter down strike was observed in the provincial capital on Sunday, suspending all trade and routine activities for the third consecutive day.
Stringent security measures were adopted with heavy deployment of paramilitary troops Frontier Corps (FC), police and other law enforcing agencies in and around the city in order to thwart any untoward incidents.
The strike call was made by Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) and backed by Balochistan National Party (BNP) and Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) to protest against the recent wave of sectarian violence that has claimed the lives of 18 people in four days.
All the shops, markets, eateries and pharmacies in various parts of the city remained closed. However, the strike was only partially observed near Saryab Road and adjacent localities as markets and shops were open as usual.
Police and security forces have detained over 200 people for violating the ban on pillion riding imposed by the government under section 144.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2012.