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90pc of missing Baloch killed by their own groups

14 December, 2011

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QUETTA: Frontier Corps (FC) Inspector General Major General Ubaidullah Khattak on Tuesday claimed that 90 percent of the Baloch missing persons were involved in criminal activities and had been killed by their own organisations.

Addressing a press conference at FC Headquarters in Quetta on Tuesday, he said that the FC was present in various districts of Balochistan to maintain law and order. "If tribal elders and members of civil society ensure peace in the province, then the FC will be withdrawn," he said.

Khattak denied the allegations that his force was involved in enforced disappearances of Baloch youth and political activists.

Defending the FC existence, the FC chief said there had been decline in violence during this year as 1,328 incidents took place while there were 1,425 incidents of violence in 2010. According to information shared by FC, there were 110 rocket attacks in this year and there were 164 in last year. Similarly, 134 grenade attacks in this year and 168 during the last year.

The FC inspector general expressed his deep concern over increasing incidents of kidnapping for ransom and said it had become a lucrative business in Balochistan where 279 people were kidnapped last year. "Some influential and high profile people are involved in this business that it witnessing sharp rise," Ubaidullah Khan said, adding that most of the incidents happened in Quetta, Dera Bugti, Sibi and Turbat.

He said the Shamsi airbase was in control of the Pakistan Army since December 11. "A board has been set up to compile a report on Shamsi airbase and it is possible that the army may hand over the control to the Frontier Crops," he added.

He said that around 335 NATO containers and 41 NATO oil tankers were in different areas of Balochistan while around 91 NATO oil tankers had been sent to Karachi on the Balochistan government's ordered. He said, "If anybody attacks our security forces we have the power to reply them."

He condemned the attacks on the FC in November 20 in Bahlol Basti area of Musa Khail Coalmine Project where 14 people, including an FC major, were killed and 14 others sustained injuries. "The coalmine project is closed but we are sure we can start it again for the benefit of the local people," he said.

Responding to a question, he said that the FC had adopted a new policy to recruit local people from Balochistan to increase their representation in the force. He said 1,000 vacant jobs would be filled in the next few months by recruiting local people for which qualification had been relaxed.

He said that around 1,500 personnel of the FC were being retired yearly and FC command had decided to recruit 1,000 personnel from Balochistan. The present representation of Balochistan in the force is 10.4 percent while the federal quota is 6 percent, he said, adding that Balochs from Dera Ghazi Khan would be counted in the Punjab quota and not the Balochistan quota.

He said that the first right on the resources was of the local people. He said that Chamalung coal project was successfully being run by local management under the army's supervision while 4,500 students were getting education besides over 22,000 were given jobs directly and indirectly.

End.

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