Nawaz calls for civil-military joint strategy on Balochistan
31 January, 2014
QUETTA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday urged the civil and military leadership to devise a joint strategy to ensure durable peace in Balochistan.
During his visit to Corps Headquarters in Quetta Cantonment, he said security forces were playing a commendable role for securing peace and tranquillity in the province. He called upon the military and civil leadership to adopt a collective approach in this regard.
The prime minister said the federal government was committed to resolving the issue of Balochistan and putting it on the track to prosperity. He stressed the need to further accelerate development projects in the province to ensure relief for its people.
Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, Balochistan Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Federal Minister for SAFRON Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch were present on the occasion. Southern Command Commander Lieutenant General Nasser Khan Janjua gave a detailed briefing to the prime minister on the overall law and order situation in Balochistan. MNA and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai, National Party leader Mir Hasil Khan Bezinjo, Southern Command commander, Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, Balochistan Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad, IG Police Mushtaq Sukhera and IG Frontier Corps Maj Gen Aijaz Shahid were also present.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif said on Thursday that the Pakistan Army would provide maximum assistance in enhancing the capacity of Balochistan Police to ensure peace in the province.
During his visit to Combat Training Area in Quetta Cantonment where specialised anti-terrorism training is being imparted to the personnel of Balochistan Police and Balochistan Constabulary, Gen Sharif said another three courses would be run by the Pakistan Army this year for police and Balochistan Constabulary. Southern Command Commander Lieutenant General Nasir Khan Janjua and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.
According to ISPR, currently 200 individuals of police and Balochistan Constabulary are being imparted training by Pakistan Army's Southern Command in Quetta. An eight-week-long course will conclude on February 7. The COAS appreciated the standard of training imparted by the team and enthusiasm displayed by the trainees. General Sharif expressed the hope that the trained persons would play an important role in combating the menace of terrorism in the province.
Earlier in 2013, Pakistan Army provided 5,000 weapons and 500,000 rounds of ammunition to Balochistan Police besides imparting training to 200 policemen to enhance their capacity in anti-terrorism. The trained force now comprises Anti-Terrorist Force Balochistan, which has displayed good performance in the last few months after the training.
Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz laid a wreath at the Yadgar-e-Shuhada to acknowledge the contribution of the martyrs of army, FC and police. He offered dua for the martyred soldiers. The prime minister pledged that the federal government would provide maximum resources for resolving all the long-standing problems of Balochistan. He said the government was cognisant of Balochistan's problems, including shortage of electricity, gas, unemployment, and assured that maximum resources would be provided for their early resolution.
Addressing the provincial assembly members, he said, "The federal government has already allocated funds amounting to Rs 8 billion for completion of Gwadar-Rato Dero and Khuzdar-Naag highways," he said, adding that work on these projects would be launched soon and completed within a year. Besides, he said, funds for Rs 10 billion Kalat-Chaman highway had also been arranged and work on the project would be started soon.
Referring to the Gwadar-Khanjrab Highway Project, the prime minister said the project would have a positive impact on economic development of Balochistan and the country at large, besides creating innumerable jobs for the youth. He assured that 90 percent of revenue earned thorough the highway would be given to the provinces that the highway passes through. Prime Minister Nawaz said the government was planning to overcome shortage of power by providing solar-based energy in rural and far-flung areas of the country.
"This programme on one hand redresses power shortage problem for the domestic consumers, on the other it would provide sufficient power for agriculture purpose." The prime minister referred to Pakistan Youth Business Loan programme and said the programme had been designed to provide the youth with resources to establish their own small businesses. "The programme has due share of every province as per their population," he said, adding each province will have its own share which would never go to other province.
Nawaz said the government was determined to eliminate terrorism and sectarianism at all costs. Referring to violence against the Hazara community in Quetta, he said that the Hazara people were not alone rather the entire nation was standing with them. He vowed to bust organisations active against the community. The premier said the Pakistan International Airlines would operate special flights for Shia pilgrims and the government was finalising arrangements in this regard.
Earlier, leader of the opposition in Balochistan Assembly Maulana Abdul Wasey, parliamentary leader of PkMAP Abdul Rahim Ziaratwall, Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti, MPAs Abdul Karim Noshwerawni, Rahila Durrani and Agha Raza apprised the prime minister of the problems faced by the province.