Army not involved in Balochistan operation: Gen. Kayani
07 September, 2013
QUETTA: Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Friday denied the perception that a military operation is underway in Balochistan. He said that the troops are in barracks and not a single soldier is engaged in army operation in the province.
Kayani said that Pakistan's defence lies in the strong and prosperous Balochistan. " It is not just a coincidence that I'm celebrating the National Defence Day in the Sui town of Balochistan, but it is a matter of importance and honour which the army keeps for Balochistan," he said during a passing-out parade of cadets at the Military College Sui (MCS). Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, FC IG Major General Ejaz Shahid, MCS Commandant Brigadier Imranul Haq, MPA Sarfarz Bugti, Balochistan Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad were prominent among those who attended the ceremony.
General Kayani said that thriving and strong Balochistan would guarantee the prosperity of the country. "We are assisting the provincial government to achieve the goals of socio-economic development and peace in the province," he said. The army chief noted that Balochistan is rich in natural resources and the only need is to utilise these for the people's welfare. Pakistan Army, he affirmed, is fully committed to extend all possible assistance to the provincial government to eradicate poverty and control lawlessness.
"Provision of latest trainings and equipments to the Balochistan police is one of the steps taken for strengthening the law enforcement agencies against the menace of terrorism," General Kayani noted. Expressing his concern over the delay in the Kachi Canal project, he reiterated that he was ready to help provincial government in the early completion of the project, which is aimed at boosting the agriculture sector of the province. Completion of Kachi Canal and Gwadar-Rato Dero projects were vital for the development of the people of Balochistan, he maintained.
Kayani noted that more than 20 thousands Baloch are part of the Pakistan Army. He said we do not want the Baloch to became labourers but work on the top posts and serve the country and the nation. "The ratio of recruitment from Balochistan in army has been 1.7 in 2007," Kayani said and added that it has been enhanced to 3.5 with the recruitment of some 12,000 jawans and officials since 2010.
"From Kohlu, Dera Bugti, Sibbi and up to Rakhni the development projects are the proof of Pakistan Army's corporation and the army will support the province for the completion of Gwadar to Rato Dero Highway," General Kayani announced. He mentioned the supply of latest weapons to the Balochistan Police and said army will continue its support to the police and other law enforcement agencies to improve their performance.
Meanwhile, the chief minister announced Rs 10 million for the Military Cadet College at Sui. "The agenda of Balochistan should be to disapprove oppression and repression and hate, ignorance and poverty for peace. For stability and prosperity of the province, we all have to play our positive role." Dr Malik said army is playing the frontline role in eradicating darkness of ignorance. He said God has blessed the province with everything but it only lacked quality education.
The chief minister said unless the quality of life of an ordinary man is improved, the dream of social change would not come true. "We all have to play a positive role to take out the province from myriad problems and the people of Balochistan have to attach with Pakistan." Dr Malik added. He said there is a need to end ignorance, poverty, oppression and repression, and educate our children.