Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Tuesday warned that the government would take tougher action and use brute force if necessary to control the escalating violence and unrest in Balochistan.
Talking to the media at Quetta Airport, the minister said that although the federal government had exhausted its efforts to convince all the stakeholders to curb lawlessness its efforts have gone to waste. “Now the government will use brute force to retain peace in Balochistan because the incident of bomb blasts and target killings have been increasing significantly by each passing day,” he said.
“The Baloch Liberation Army and Baloch Student Organisation have replaced political parties and so the law enforcement agencies need to take an action against them,” he added.
Malik said that the prime minister has asked him to revive peace in Balochistan, just as “peace has been revived in Karachi.” He said that Lashkar-i-Jhangvi is behind the attacks that have taken place in Quetta and Lahore. “We have to break up the triangle of Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and al Qaeda. Peace cannot be restored otherwise,” he said.
Condemning the suicide attack on an al Quds rally that took place on Friday in Quetta, Malik said that an investigation is being carried out. Commenting on banning religious processions or rallies Malik said, “I am not against the religious processions but it needs to be realised that the police cannot provide protection to each and every person in a procession thus the size of the gathering needs to be downsized. Malik said he will not support a ban on processions and religious gatherings but will suggest restriction.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2010.
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