Terrorists operating from prisons in Balochistan: Interior minister

Published: October 20, 2011
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Rehman Malik chats with Afghan nationals during a visit to the Pak-Afghan border gate in Chaman. PHOTO: AFP

Rehman Malik chats with Afghan nationals during a visit to the Pak-Afghan border gate in Chaman. PHOTO: AFP

QUETTA: Terrorists are operating from prisons in Balochistan and they are also in contact with banned organisations in Punjab, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Wednesday, citing intelligence reports.

Following assurances from President Asif Ali Zardari earlier this week that Malik would personally head out to Balochistan to help the provincial government with the investigation into the targeted killings of the Hazara community, the interior minister, flanked by provincial Home Minister Zafarullah Zehri, was addressing a press conference at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat during his two-day visit to the province.

“Law enforcing agencies have carried out a massive crackdown on different jails and recovered cell phones and evidence that indicates their [terrorists’] involvement in sectarian attacks. The raids were conducted based on intelligence reports,” he said.

The terrorists were in contact with Punjab-based banned organisations. “The investigation process has been extended and all prison officials have been told to separate those behind major crimes from those involved in minor crimes,” Malik said, adding, “By doing so, we will easily be able to single out all elements responsible for sectarian attacks.”

The interior minister also visited the Chaman border and held meetings with the Hazara community and Sunni leaders.

Malik said he had three items on his agenda; illegal cross-border activities, targeted killings of the Hazara community and negotiations with angry Baloch nationalists.

The government intends to hold a peace conference in Quetta in November, he said.

Monitoring cross-border activities

The biometric computerised system to screen all travellers crossing or entering the Af-Pak border will be restored by next month.

The government will reactivate the system along the Chaman border by November 30, he said, adding, people will not be allowed to enter or exit the Af-Pak border without being screened first, Malik said.

Negotiations with angry Baloch nationalists

Commenting on negotiations with angry Baloch nationalists, he reiterated the government’s stance saying that those who had taken to the hills should first lay down their arms and then join the negotiations process. “Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi, Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani and Home Minister Zafarullah Zehri who were tasked to hold negotiations with Baloch nationalists have informed me that they’ve received some offers to expedite the process. I will have these offers approved by the prime minister,” he said.

Arms licence for journalists

The interior minister also announced providing arms licences to journalists, owing to the prevailing law and order situation in the country, particularly in Balochistan.

“Each member of the Quetta Press Club will be given a licence to carry arms,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (22)

  • Faisel Hafeez
    Oct 19, 2011 - 4:54PM

    “To be so incompetent is difficult to imagine, which suggest there is something more sinister going on.”

    Recommend

  • Adil
    Oct 19, 2011 - 5:19PM

    The implication of his statement may be that the police and prison guards are colluding with the terrorists; something the locals of Baluchistan have suspected for a long time.

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  • muzaffar shah
    Oct 19, 2011 - 5:38PM

    we believe that action speak louder than words. every time a new idea is brought out from the “patara” but to no results.we request not to add insult to our injuries. we have no interes in rhetorics and please do not cosider us fools.

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  • Word Life
    Oct 19, 2011 - 5:46PM

    So the Masterminds of recent killings are already in Jail, yet the crime rate is on unprecedent highs

    What does it says about the condition of Law and Order and Jails… Mr. Interior Minister?

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  • Cautious
    Oct 19, 2011 - 7:19PM

    Does this mean that 75% of the terrorist are set free by the courts and the other 25% continue their terrorist activities within prison?

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  • Ali Mardan
    Oct 19, 2011 - 7:41PM

    What an absurd statement, there is no issue of Shia Sunni violence in the Province. It is clear like day light that a terrorist outfit is targeting and killing Shia community and this is a unilateral criminal activity why Rehman Malik is trying to distort the fact?
    It is not a breaking news that the terrorists are operating from prisons. These terrorists have access to every kind of facilities in prisons and it is not possible without assistance of prison staff. What actions have been taken against prison staff involved for assisting these terrorists? it is very easy to find any contraband item inside the district and central jails particularly in Balochistan Province, all you have to spend few hundred of rupees.Recommend

  • maestro
    Oct 19, 2011 - 7:43PM

    Obviously there are a lot of Qadris manning the prison posts as guards! Deal with them first!

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  • DB
    Oct 19, 2011 - 8:10PM

    Pakistani jail, police and court system has been broken for decades. Can’t blame it all on Rehman Malik.

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  • Y Khan
    Oct 19, 2011 - 8:51PM

    Make these terrorists eat these cell phones and then beat the living daylights out of them and broadcast this show live on TV.

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  • Salma
    Oct 19, 2011 - 8:58PM

    this is so poorly written that I can’t make much out of it…..some misleading bits also like Pastuns slotted in as settlers who were also being killed…not true. Reporting should be clear and accurate coz if RM said the ones killing settlers are killing hazara than this is a serious allegation but there are so many twists in this piece that one doesn’t know how accurate this is.Recommend

  • Oct 19, 2011 - 9:02PM

    Vienna,19-10-2011
    It looks like a rare comprehensive statement of Mr.Rehman
    Malik. If he is on way to success it is welcome. My friend
    the late Harbans Chadha has been an expelled Baluchi
    nationalist for over 63 years.I know Hazaras among the best
    creative folksy people with close affinity to Persian stock
    in Afghanistan. A lovely people. I do not like the treatment
    they get in Baluchistan. If Pakistan gives
    Baluchs equal rights they are indeed greater asset than
    all the other assets taken together.But Pakistani ruling
    troika have been unjust to them all along.Exile Baluchis
    even do not like to be known as Pakistanis. It is an
    unpleasant fact for Pakistan but reality.When things
    change I would be happy.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva BalakrishnaRecommend

  • Diggvijay Singh
    Oct 19, 2011 - 9:40PM

    I have heard many good things about Dr. Rehman Malik ji. People told me he is a highly educated minister from Pakistan with a great track record on fighting terrorism on Pakistani soil. I am very confident that he has taken effective and timely measures to stop the terrorists from communicating with their colleagues and friends from inside prison. I think he might be considering decreasing the network connectivity in Balochistan region to a low level to solve this problem.

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  • Tauseef
    Oct 19, 2011 - 11:20PM

    Why does the media give him coverage?

    Nobody believes him anyways. Recommend

  • maz3tt
    Oct 19, 2011 - 11:22PM

    Too rokko na… they are at your disposal. Recommend

  • Babloo
    Oct 20, 2011 - 12:54AM

    I would suggest that Tribune start a ‘comedy’ section and feature whatever Mr Malik says in that section.

    So now that the criminals are already in prison , so Mr Malik cannot do anything about it because they are operating from prison ?? How about then releasing them ? Maybe they will stop operating and start looking for work to feed themselves.

    Thanks for the laughs.

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  • Daniel Azad
    Oct 20, 2011 - 1:05AM

    Stopping the target killing of Hazaras and fair treatment of every Pakistanis is very important if Pakistan wants to remain a respected country..

    I know Pakistan has great people…and they deserve to live in peace.

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  • tric
    Oct 20, 2011 - 11:52AM

    One day Doctor Sahab will tell us that terrorists are operating from Presidency and Prime Minister Secretariate!!Recommend

  • Maher
    Oct 20, 2011 - 3:42PM

    What an excuse Doc. sb….Recommend

  • Mumtaz Changezi
    Oct 20, 2011 - 5:45PM

    “The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.”
    Lord Acton.

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  • Jawad U Rahman
    Oct 20, 2011 - 9:31PM

    Rahman Malik’s brilliance is that he knows all about all problems, but doesn’t do anything about them. Wouldn’t it have been better to use that ‘intelligence’, eliminate those criminals and terrorists links, crackdown on those organizations once and for all, and then tell the world how he solved the problem instead of leaking out what you know before taking any action?

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  • Oct 21, 2011 - 8:57AM

    What is next? Terrorists operating from graves?

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  • Amir
    Oct 21, 2011 - 11:35AM

    If Pakistan wants to be developed then Pakistan need to do something sooner than later otherwise it will be out of control. Hazaras were killed by one or two deaths on a given day until just few months ago and since Pakistan didn’t do anything, the terrorists saw it was much easier for them to do their heinous crime and as they killed more and more they saw their full potential and realised its a lot easier to kill than they thought earlier so now they are killing in mass which shows its out of control already so Pakistan need to do something as soon as they can else it will lead to bloodshed and violence. Had Pakistan controlled it in the early days of Hazara target killing when just one or two Hazaras were killed on a single day, we wouldn’t see these mass killing now as it would send a tough message to them that they can’t be spared and can’t break the law so easy so now Pakistan need to control it otherwise it will lead to bloodshed all over Pakistan. It will spread like a virus if not treated on time.

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