ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik held banned outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the Baloch Liberation Army responsible for the deteriorating law and order situation in the restive Balochistan province, while addressing the Upper House on Thursday.
The Senate met under the chair of Deputy Chairman Sabir Balouch to continue its discussion on Balochistan’s security situation.
The proceeding got off to a rough start, when the Awami National Party and the Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam-F once again protested against the absence of Malik, who was late by 15 minutes.
Members of the ANP demanded the government to talk to the disgruntled Baloch leaders and to stop blaming foreign elements.
Nevertheless, while briefing the Senate, Malik said that powers destabilising Pakistan have made a road map, adding that the Taliban’s presence in Baluchistan could not be denied.
“The LeJ and BLA have connections with each other, and the latter, which is a killing machine, takes responsibility for most incidents of murder.”
The minister further alleged, “Baramdagh Bugti is involved in the abduction and killing of many people.”
He also went on to criticise the United States, India and Afghanistan, adding that being an ally to the US, Pakistan is the only one bearing grave losses in the war against terror.
Providing details of his meeting with Afghan president Hamid Karzai, Malik revealed that the Afghan president had admitted his failure in controlling the Kunar province, which borders Pakistan’s tribal agency Bajaur. He quoted Karzai as saying that cross border raids cannot be controlled as the troubled Kunhar province is in the US’ and Nato’s control.
‘Summon ISI, FO officials’
Senator Malik requested the Senate chairman to summon representatives of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the foreign office and the interior ministry, and fix a date in this regard.
While denying playing the “blame game,” he said he would bring forward facts with full responsibility and transparency.
“There are many things I will tell you on record and there are many that I will not be able to divulge in an open house,” he said, while briefing the chairman.
Talking about the Frontier Constabulary’s services in Balochistan, Malik said that in 2011, 138 FC personnel, 89 police men, 872 civilians were killed and 1,177 were injured, according to data provided by the provincial home department. Malik further said that if the FC is still criticised, he would withdraw the force from the province and send it to the borders.
Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Farhatullah Babar said that enforced disappearances and the dumping of mutilated bodies are two issues that need to be urgently addressed and also suggested measures on how to do so.
First, he said, the state should not live in denial and must admit that persons are disappearing mysteriously.
He also called upon the interior minister to expedite amendments to the Anti Terrorism Courts Bill for speedy trials of militants.
Furthermore, he said, Pakistan should sign the International Convention on Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
Lastly, he suggested that the state to embrace the angry youth of Balochistan, put a balm on their wounds and respect their views on their future.
Baloch nationalist Hasil Bazinjo strongly criticised the federal and provincial governments and claimed that the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package was not implemented at all.
He said that 400 mutilated bodies have been recovered so far and nobody has the data of missing and murdered persons.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2012.