Panel to probe Quetta police centre siege

Opposition groups call on government to resign for its failure to stem tide of violence in the province

Mohammad Zafar October 27, 2016
PHOTO: Reuters

QUETTA: Balochistan mourned the victims of Monday’s deadly attack on the Police Training College in Quetta as the provincial apex committee decided to form a high-powered commission to find out how three terrorists managed to mount the brazen attack that killed 62 police cadets and injured more than 120.

The commission was set up as opposition parties called on the Sanaullah Zehri government to step down over its failure to stem the tide of militant violence in the restive province.

Terror revisits Quetta: Terrorists storm police training centre

The apex committee meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri, decided that the high-powered commission would investigate the entire affair and fix responsibility, said a statement issued after the meeting.

The committee was earlier briefed on all aspects of the deadly assault, including the law and order situation in Balochistan, particularly in Quetta, and the security measures put in place by the authorities in recent weeks.

There was a specific briefing on the police college siege. The meeting discussed ways and means to stop and prevent suicide attacks in future and participants were briefed on this aspect by experts on security affairs.

The committee decided to take practical measures and prepare a comprehensive policy to deal with law and order situation. The police force will be imparted specific training to deal with cases of terrorism and handle violent crimes, it was agreed.

In order to boost efficiency and capabilities of the police force, it was also decided to improve cooperation between police and Pakistan Army, especially with regard to training of policemen.

The meeting decided to organise refresher courses for the policemen at different levels to enable them to deal with cases of terrorism, including suicide attacks on sensitive targets.

“There will be zero tolerance on lapses to deal with the security situation. [We expect] the police will face all such challenges in future,” said the official announcement.

The meeting was attended by the commander southern command, chief secretary, Frontier Corps IG, Balochistan Police IG, Baluchistan home minister and other civil and military officials.

Meanwhile, a shutter-down strike was observed in Quetta and other parts of the province, while lawyers boycotted court proceedings as a day of mourning was observed for the victims of Monday’s attack. Balochistan Assembly’s opposition leader Maulana Abdul Wasay and deputy opposition leader Zamrak Khan Achakzai demanded that the government resign because it had failed to provide security to citizens.

They claimed the provincial government had failed in handling the police college attack. They alleged that CM Zehri and IG police were providing terrorists opportunities to strike.

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Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah also called on his counterpart from Balochistan to offer sympathies over the tragic incident.

Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali also condemned Monday’s incident and announced a plan to cancel his party’s rally in Quetta scheduled for October 26.

“The leadership should sit and play their role for curbing such incidents in future,” he said while addressing a press conference in the MPA Hostel Quetta.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2016.


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