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FC to replace army in Balochistan: Gen. Kayani

19 April, 2011

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GWADAR: The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, said on Monday that the Army would withdraw from Sui within the next two months and no future operation in Balochistan would take place without the consent of the provincial government.

The Army chief was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Gwadar Institute of Technology (GIT) on Monday. Later, he also inaugurated the academic session of the Military College in Sui.

General Kayani said the Army would not be deployed in any part of Balochistan for the purpose of an operation. “There is only one battalion left in Sui which will return to the barracks in two months and replaced by the FC,” he said. The FC would assist the civil administration on the request of the chief minister, which is a constitutional requirement.

He said the Army was undertaking development projects such as the GIT on the request of the provincial government. He said the decision to establish four new cantonments in Balochistan had been withdrawn. The work had been carried out on only one cantonment in Sui and that too had been converted into an education city; a military college was set up there and classes would start this coming Monday. He said 80 students, who had passed through a selection process, had been admitted to the 9th class this year and that the total strength of students in the college would reach 320 by the end of year 2012.

General Kayani reached out to the people of Balochistan and said the armed forces wanted to be part of the progress of the province and its people. “Pakistan will be much stronger with a strong Balochistan. The Army has no bigger objective than a stronger Balochsitan,” he said.

He said 4,000 Baloch Jawans were recruited into the Pakistan Army last year and another 5,000 would be inducted this year. He said the share of Baloch recruits would be in ratio with their population according to the census.

“We have given relaxation to the Baloch for recruitment in the Army and for their promotions,” General Kayani said. He pointed out that the standards for commissioning officers into the Army were the same all over the country, but the ratio of Baloch in the officers’ category would be enhanced.

He said that an Army medical college would be established in Quetta and an Institute of Mineralogy would be set up for mineral development in the province. General Kayani said the education of Baloch youth was the focus of the Army and integral to the ultimate development of the province. Presently, he said around 23,000 Baloch students were studying in educational institutions of the armed forces.

General Kayani termed the inauguration of the Gwadar Institute of Technology an important step in the progress of the province. “With such measures in place, the trust of the people of Balochistan will be enhanced and respect for the armed forces and other federal institutions will increase,” General Kayani said.

Speaking at the ceremony, General Kayani made it clear the job of the armed forces was to defend the geographical boundaries of the country and that every institution had to work within its constitutional ambit.

General Kayani said Pakistan should not only be well defended, but also economically, politically and socially secure internally. “Pakistan should be the most secure country in the world,” he said. He told the audience that the armed forces were motivated and professionally capable of defending the country, but that they would be even stronger when the people were strong and there was unity. He quoted the example of the Soviet Union, which was a military power but broke into 20 pieces because it was weak internally.

Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani, Commander Southern Command Lt General Javed Zia, General Officer Commanding 33 Div, Major Tariq Javed, DG ISPR, Major General Athar Abbas, provincial ministers and other senior civil and military officials were also present at the function.

Speaking on the occasion, CM Raisani thanked the Pakistan Army for unprecedented development activities in the province. Later, he told newsmen that some foreign hands and enemies of the country were involved in terrorist activities in Balochistan. He declined to name the foreign elements.

End.

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