In the wake of Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani receiving flak since the apex court’s interim order pinning blame for the province’s crises on the provincial administration, concerted efforts are being made to establish authority.
A high-level provincial cabinet meeting was held on Sunday to discuss the law and order situation on the eve of Muharram.
Attendees included some cabinet ministers, the Frontier Corps inspector general and senior police and administration officials.
Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani briefed the participants about the security plan for the holy month.
Determined to deflect mounting criticism, the meeting participants declared that there were no differences among people on an ethnic, linguistic and sectarian basis and it was criminal gangs which were involved in disrupting law and order in the province.
These criminal gangs are involved in targeted killings, kidnapping for ransom, acts of terrorism and subversion and other crimes against humanity and the state, they added.
The meeting also observed that the law and order situation in Balochistan was better in comparison to other provinces and that “there should be no cause of concern” on this issue.
“There were more targeted killings, bomb blasts, acts of subversion, kidnapping for ransom and other heinous crime in other provinces,” according to an official statement.
The participants also censured elements who they said exaggerated the incidents of violence in Balochistan in order to defend their vested interests.
Without naming anyone, the official statement declared categorically that such allegations would not be permitted to create a constitutional crisis in Balochistan using a ‘clumsy pretext’.
Raisani, in turn, defended handing over police powers to the FC, saying that this did not mean that the police force had failed.
He said that the FC will supplement police efforts in curbing crime and they are complimentary forces.
He said if anyone accuses him as chief minister of being involved in any offence, law enforcers should investigate and take action if he was found guilty.
During the meeting, the government decided to impose an immediate ban on the display of weapons in Quetta and on pillion riding in order to keep a check on target killing.
It has also declared eight districts as ‘ultra sensitive’ during Muharram, according to an official announcement.
The sensitive districts were identified as Khuzdar, Zhob, Loralai, Naseerabad, Sibi, Kachhi, Jaffarabad and Quetta where regular Muharram processions are taken out.
The IG FC informed the meeting that crime had been reduced in Quetta by 60 per cent by giving more powers to FC in the provincial capital.
It was announced in the meeting that 4,000 additional policemen, 25 FC platoons and 200 levies personnel will be deployed in Quetta during Muharram.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2012.