Tracking terror: Balochistan to deploy surveillance drones

Violence-hit province seeks federal govt’s approval for aerial surveillance of criminals

Mohammad Zafar July 12, 2015
Violence-hit province seeks federal govt’s approval for aerial surveillance of criminals. PHOTO: ONLINE

QUETTA: The Balochistan government has decided on aerial surveillance of criminals in an attempt to stabilise the province which has been wracked by ethnic, sectarian and militant violence. It has written a letter to the federal government seeking permission to surveillance drones in the province.

The provincial authorities announced on Saturday that it would purchase drone cameras to monitor the activities of criminals. Officials said the move was a part of the process of using modern equipment to curb terrorism, especially in the provincial capital, which is once again witnessing an uptick in targeted killings and bomb explosions.

Read: Surveillance: District police told to buy drone cameras

Home Secretary Akber Hussain Durrani told The Express Tribune that the government has forwarded a summary to the federal government to seek permission for flying surveillance drones to monitor criminals’ activities. The federation’s approval is a prerequisite for using drones in Pakistan.

“Drone cameras will be highly useful and effective for surveillance of target killers and criminals involved in bombings in the province,” Durrani said. The estimated cost for deploying the system is around Rs1.6 million.

Read: Pakistani drones are for surveillance only: Naveed Qamar

He said special training programmes would be started for the police to train them on how to operate the flying cameras. The government has intensified its action against terrorists and their handlers involved in subversive activities in Quetta, he added.

Following the recent surge in violence in Quetta, the provincial government has already given instructions to install 200 security cameras in different areas of the provincial capital.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2015.


Jameel ur Rasheed | 8 years ago | Reply @Neutral: I am from Quetta and I know the patrolling of LEAs. A few weeks back I was passing through Masjid Road Quetta and I saw patrolling party of anti terrorist squad, Frontier Corps, Balochistan Constabulary and Police. Patrolling parties were armed and armored and on the same day, terrorist stuck Hazaras in the middle of Masjid road and fled. Now, either all of the forces are futile or are part of problem. Drones are of no use. Just adding bills to exchequer.
S.R.H. Hashmi | 8 years ago | Reply It is nice to hear that the Balochistan government has decided on aerial surveillance of the province, to protect it from the havoc caused by ethnic, sectarian and other forms of violence. And as a first step, Balochistan government has written to the Federal authorities for permission to deploy drones, which is a legal requirement. And what makes it sound so good is that even the cost of drone system is not prohibitive: being Rs.1.6 million in total, which is more like the cost of one police mobile and the area that the drone could cover effectively would be much more than that covered by the mobile. Considering he magnitude of the law and order problem, the Balochistan government must use all means at its disposal to bring peace and order to the province and must utilize all gadgets and modern systems which can increase the surveillance capacity of the law enforcers. In fact, the government should endeavour to deploy the system on a much larger scale in order to cover the main trouble spots in the province and not just the provincial capital. Pakistan’s armed forces have already developed surveillance drones which could be used for the purpose. In fact, the armed forces have recently developed even armed drones which they could use in its fight with the insurgents and other militants, getting better results at lower cost and with less effort and risk to soldiers. Karachi
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