QUETTA: The Balochistan government has decided to shun a defensive policy towards terrorism and instead adopt an aggressive approach with a number of measures that include increasing roles for the law-enforcement personnel.
According to an official announcement on Wednesday, the province is set to launch a special counter-terrorism force, revamp the Levies force and spread the motorcycle-mounted police force to all divisional headquarters of the province.
The government also announced that the so-called Balochistan Liberation Movement (BLM) had been defeated squarely and said that a larger number of people had laid down their arms and joined the national mainstream.
The decisions were taken during a high-level meeting at the Chief Minister Secretariat to review progress of implementation on the anti-terrorism National Action Plan (NAP) in Balochistan with emphasis on the prevailing law and order situation.
Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri presided over the meeting which was attended by National Security Adviser Lt Gen (retd) Nasir Janjua as well as the provincial chief secretary, the secretary home and tribal affairs, the inspector general of police and others.
The meeting was given a thorough briefing on NAP and its implementation. The participants expressed their satisfaction on the progress achieved so far and decided to adopt a more aggressive approach, instead of a defensive one, towards terrorists without any discrimination.
The meeting decided to take a firm and effective action against facilitators, subversive elements, extremists and their safe havens, a statement said. “Now the security forces will take the offensive instead of defensive approach for eliminating the terrorists and extremists,” it added.
The meeting praised the security forces for bravely fighting religious extremists, fanatics and sectarian terrorists. It decided to form an Ulema board, comprising religious scholars from all schools of thought, to strengthen the fight against extremism.
The meeting also decided to establish a counterterrorism force in Balochistan to deal with incidents of terrorism. Members of the Elite Force and the Anti-Terrorism Force (ATF) will also be included in the new force.
The participants noted that the Pakistan Army had already trained around 2,000 soldiers and another 1,000 would be given anti-terrorism training making the force more effective.
The participants were also briefed on the motorcycle-mounted police squads, dealing with street crimes in Quetta. Similar force would also be established in all divisional headquarters of Balochistan, the official announcement said.
During the meeting, the chief minister pledged to make Balochistan Levies a vibrant force of the province. The meeting was informed that the force was being revamped and better trained to perform an effective role in dealing with law and order situation in the vast expanse of Balochistan.
The meeting noted a marked improvement in the overall law and order situation after joint action against terrorists by the civil and military authorities across Balochistan. It has been officially declared that the BLM had been defeated and the people of Balochistan have rejected it.
The meeting pledged to retain the current tempo of action against terrorists and other outlaws in the days to come. “They will not be allowed to regroup and reunite and fight another battle,” the statement said.
The participants were informed that 16 terrorism cases would be referred to the courts of law soon. The meeting directed the relevant officials – the police and prosecution department – to prepare themselves for fighting these cases in courts.
The participants viewed with concern that terrorists were entering the country from neighbouring states. Once the subversive elements are defeated, new “terrorists infiltrate afresh in our country again to reinforce the subversive elements”, the statement added.
Addressing the meeting, Chief Minister Zehri ordered the police force and other law-enforcement agencies to attack and destroy all bases and safe havens of terrorists.
On the occasion, Janjua praised the law enforcement agencies in combating terrorism in Balochistan. He said he was ready to play his role to improve quality of life of the people of Balochistan.