QUETTA/ ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday all state security institutions must respond with full might to eliminate terrorists. “Terrorists are using innovating measures by hitting soft targets and one must respond in an advanced coordinated way,” he said while presiding over an emergency meeting at the Governor Secretariat where he was briefed on the situation triggered by the deadly blast at the Civil Hospital.
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Attendees at the meeting included army chief Gen Raheel Sharif, Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai, Chief Minister Sanaullah Zahri, Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Aamer Riaz, PM’s National Security Adviser Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, DG Military Operations and DG Military Intelligence. The Balochistan chief secretary, Saifullah Chatha, briefed the meeting on the situation.
The prime minister said the last three years have seen an improvement in peace restoration in Balochistan and this sad incident could not affect the nation’s resolve. “No doubt in my mind that enemies of Pakistan are after CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor),” he added.
Nawaz said the army, under the leadership of Gen Raheel Sharif, was doing a commendable job to neutralise the security threat to CPEC. The federal and provincial governments would shift resources to augment capacity of the Frontier Constabulary (FC) and the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD).
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The prime minister said, “We will address the international terror threats through maximum effort. We will make a functional mechanism of federal provincial law enforcement and intelligence agencies. We will support this framework with available resources.” The Balochistan chief minister should submit a comprehensive report in that regard, he added.
Earlier, the prime minister also visited the Combined Military Hospital to inquire after the victims of the terror attack.
Before leaving for Quetta, the prime minister conferred with his close aides from Balochistan, including federal ministers Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch and Hasil Bazinjo, in the federal capital on the security situation, said sources in the PM Secretariat.
Sources said top security officials briefed the premier on preliminary investigation into the Quetta bombing and suggested that it could be a fresh move to unleash violence in Balochistan in an attempt to sabotage CPEC.
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Investigators are looking into the possibility of involvement of ‘hostile’ agencies, including India’s RAW, and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) or their nexus. They are also investigating the possible role of outlawed sectarian outfits like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), separatist outfits like Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), or religious extremist group like Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Sources questioned the claim of responsibility by TTP’s Jamaat-ul-Ahraar, saying the group’s command and control centres in Balochistan had largely been neutralised.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2016.
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