While the army chief gave a ‘gift to Balochistan’ in his second visit to the province within two weeks, the military cantonment in Quetta was attacked, leaving one person dead on Friday night.
Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, while inaugurating Musakhail Mineral Development Project on Friday, said the Pakistan Army has no interest in developing such projects except that natural resources are utilised for the benefit of the local population.
Musakhail, one of the most backward districts on the Balochistan-Punjab border, has an estimated two to five million tons of coal deposits that could last 15 years. The amount of marble deposits is yet to be determined.
Besides government royalty, the military will be given Rs400 per ton for providing security to the field. Some 20 trucks (each carrying 30 to 35 tons of coal) will be transported to Punjab.
“The project is a gift for the people of Balochistan on the eve of Independence Day,” said General Kayani. “The army has no vested interest in developing and managing natural resource projects in Balochistan, but
wants to exploit the reserves for the benefit of residents and to provide them education, health and employment.”
He said the army was called to work on the mineral field as tribal feuds were making it difficult for the locals to start the project.
The army chief said that law and order and development are deeply interlinked. “Balochistan is a province rich in minerals and its people should cooperate with the government and army, which have clear intentions to bringing socio-economic prosperity,” he said. General Kayani added that 6,000 people from Balochistan have been inducted in the army.
Later in the day, the military cantonment in Quetta, a high security zone in the provincial capital was hit by five rockets. A security guard was killed and three others were injured in the attack.
The rockets were fired from an unspecified location. Two rockets were exploded in deserted areas causing no loss of life or property, people close to the site said.
The explosions occurred within seconds and spread panic among residents. The extent of damage and casualties could not be independently verified because the area is barred for civilians. “We heard three explosions, but do not know where they took place,” a police officer said.
The outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army claimed the attack. However, such incidents occur routinely in the province close to Independence Day.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ
@peace lover: A Peace Lover who appears to unquestionably support the military - the irony never ceases to amaze me.
Paying a royalty to the army for protecting you? What you call a royalty most would call extortion/bribe.
Mr rehmat and mr anis... For ur kind information it is not the responsibility of army to provide u any internal security until and unless they are called by the government... Everywhere you want army... If the army is resonsible for providing you the internal control than what is the use ov ths govt??? Police and other security agencies???? If army is giving money tha there is a plan... The local people will get jobs just like in dera bugti....
Two points Firstly. this is no favor to the people of Balochistan it's our resources which should have been exploited much earlier for the development of the province...instead of bringing it to the brink of a secession from Pakistan ...Secondly the title of the news item is misleading and incorrect...the rocket attacks have more to do with 14th august celebrations and are in no way a retaliation to the Musakhel project which is in a Pashtun area of the province.
Interesting that apart from taking 35% of the tax resources for protecting the country, the army has to be SEPARATELY paid for protecting each truck of coal.
Is this a national army or security agency for hire?
@anis aqeel it is highly unbecoming of a Pakistani to speak bad of our valiant army. it is equally bad to criticize just for the heck of it. stop doubting the intentions. think of all the external and internal enemies that threaten the integrity of Pakistan and work for its safety and progress rather than criticize. Long Live Pakistan. Long Live Pak Army.
thanks Pak army for helping poors and starting such programmes in Pakistan, hope the attackers were killed by forces.
On the occasion of 64th independence day of August 14th, and in this very holy month of Ramazaan-ul-mubarak, the Army Chief has given the happy news of a gift to the people of Baluchistan, especially, the residents of the poorest region of Musakhel, and ones wishes that this noble aimed project is completed in the shortest possible time and its sweet fruits are actually enjoyed by the locals as well as all the people of all the regions of pakistan. Here We must learn the lesson of history that no amount of foreign aid or loan will ever make our life worthy to be living with honour and national dignity. This noble purpose could only be had if we utilise our natural resources by our own scientists and engineers without foreign strings or hired experts. These foreign loans and expert type people from abroad actually do their own concealed work job with the aim of not making our country self-reliant or self-sufficient in any thing which may make us a progressive and prosperous pakistan/pakistanis. In this connection, our nuclear scientist Dr. Samar Mubarak and his dedicated team of scientists and engineers, is doing great job in these very days of hot season in Thar coel-rich region of Sindh on his plan of producing energy by gassification of local coal, which will produce very cheap electricity.One wishes that this patriotic scheme is completed in the shortest possible time as we know that time is the money in our most competative age.Let us not waste any more time as we had been doing most of the time during our six decades since independence.May God help us and keeps us all, including the rulers, on the positively straight right path. Ameen.
MAY ALLAH PROTECT US ALL. MY PRAYERS ARE ALWAYS WITH PAKISTAN SECURITY FORCES AGENCIES. NOT ONLY MY PRAYERS, I AM ALSO WITH THEM.THEY NEED ME OR THEY NEED ME NOT, ANYTIME OR EVERYTIME,ANYWHERE OR EVERYWHERE, WITH IN COUNTRY OR OUTSIDE FROM COUNTRY. KEEP MOVING WITH NARAIY TAKBEER AND NARAIY HAIDERI. VICTORY WILL BE YOURS. INSHALLAH ...
May ALLAH will Protects Us All. My Prayers are always with Law Enforcement Agencies. Not only my Prayers, I am also with them, every time and anytime, Everywhere or Anywhere, In the Country or Outside the Country.they needs me or they needs me not ...