Wednesday’s twin suicide attacks not only shook Quetta, but appear to have shaken the provincial government off its slumber with respect to the city’s volatile internal security.
At a high-level meeting on Thursday, the provincial government decided to drive out illegal immigrants from the city, citing them as a major security threat.
The meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani, reviewed the security situation following the twin suicide attacks on the residence of the deputy chief of Frontier Corps (FC), Brigadier Farrukh Shehzad, on Wednesday.
Participants at the meeting decided to conduct a thorough survey in the provincial capital and arrest all illegal immigrants, including Afghan refugees and Uzbek nationals. One of the suicide bombers, identified through an identity card, was allegedly an Afghan refugee.
Officials also decided to install surveillance cameras and scanners at six entry points of the city.
The police, FC and Balochistan Levies will jointly make security arrangements in and around the city and will be provided with resources to cope with the deteriorating law and order situation, officials decided.
Emphasising the need for revamping the intelligence network in the province, the chief minister said: “Those backing terrorism on religious and sectarian grounds will be dealt with an iron fist.”
The government reviewed a strategy to deweaponise the provincial capital and imposed a ban on displaying legal weapons.
In addition, a task force, comprising senior officials of law enforcement agencies, was constituted to review the security situation on a daily basis.
Rounding up suspects
The police on Thursday rounded up around 250 suspects, mostly illegal immigrants from across the provincial capital, as the death toll from Wednesday’s twin suicide attacks rose to 28.
The government also formed a team comprising police personnel and investigation officials to probe into Wednesday’s twin suicide attack.
The police, with the help of other law enforcement agencies, conducted raids in various areas including Satellite Town, Saryab localities and Kharotabad, and detained over 250 suspects, an official said. Most of those detained were Afghan refugees but no major breakthrough has been made yet, a source said.
The death toll, meanwhile, rose to 28 on Thursday as two more people succumbed to their injuries at Combined Military Hospital.
While no major security deployment was witnessed in sensitive areas, some police personnel were seen erecting barriers around residence of Inspector General Police on Zarghoon Road.
Journalists protest misbehaviour
Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) staged a demonstration outside Quetta Press Club, condemning police officials’ misbehaviour with journalists during the coverage of Wednesday’s attack. Journalists protested against DIG Operations Hamid Shakil and provincial government, accusing them of threatening media persons for reporting flaws in security arrangements.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2011.
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