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Workshop demands end to target killings in Balochistan

QUETTA, July 6: At a workshop on law and order situation in Balochistan, organised by Centre for Research and Security Studies on Friday, speakers urged all stakeholders, including the government, law-enforcement agencies, political leadership and others to play their due role to restore peace in the province and to put a stop to target killings.

 Daily Dawn, July 07, 2012

 

Dr Ishaq Baloch, the Senior Vice President of National Party, said that no attention was being paid to organise police network and to improve their capability to combat crime.

He said that on the one hand a helicopter and luxury vehicles had been provided to senior police officials and on the other police and Levies personnel did not have modern arms and ammunition to fight acts of terror. “The federal government has provided billions of rupees to the Balochistan government but still a sense of deprivation is prevailing among the local people as these funds have not been spent on the welfare of the people,” the NP leader said.

He said MPAs of Balochistan had been given about Rs25 billion under the head of development funds, but still all universities of the province were facing serious financial crunch.

He said it was the provincial government which called in the Frontier Corps to maintain law and order in the province. He said if adequate funds had been provided to police and Levies Force and their training capacity improved, they would have been able to stop target killings and other heinous crimes in the province.

He said the sense of deprivation, missing people and target killings were major issues of Balochistan and needed immediate practical steps for resolution.

BNP-M spokesman Advocate Agha Hassan said that groups involved in heinous crimes like abductions for ransom, highway robberies and target killings etc had been operating with impunity in almost all parts of the province, including Jhalawan and Makran, since former dictator Gen Musharraf’s time.

He said although huge funds were being spent on the maintenance of law and order, acts of terror and target killings of Baloch, Hazara and people belonging to other ethnic groups living in the province were continuing in different parts of Balochistan.

Hazara Democratic Party spokesman Muhammad Raza Wakeel said that some foreign forces, in connivance with local elements, were involved in target killings of people of the Hazara community in Balochistan.

He alleged a conspiracy had been hatched to spread hatred among local Hazara, Baloch and Pashtoon communities to pit them against each other and to destroy this beautiful province which was rich in mineral resources.

Senior journalist and host of the workshop Imtiaz Gul said that the province was rapidly becoming a governance black hole because of deeply-rooted history of bad governance, mismanagement of resources, political instability, socio-economic deprivation and raging insurgency.

He said the current government had taken bold initiatives like Aghaz Haqooq-i-Balochistan package and 7th National Finance Commission Award, but no practical steps had been taken to fully address grievances of the poor masses so far.

“Balochistan has been witnessing unprecedented violence and casualty figure has hit 300 over the past four months,” Mr Gul said.

Another senior journalist Shehzada Zulfiqar said that in Balochistan, security-related issues include Baloch issue, missing people, general law and order, target killings of Hazara people, abduction of minorities for ransom, highway robberies and cases of vehicle snatching.

He said had the government provided mobile-phone tracing technology and equipment to local police, it might have helped them trace suspects involved in target killings and other heinous crimes.

He said the PPP-led coalition government had given huge funds to the Balochistan government and now it was the responsibility of the provincial government to play its role to remove the sense of deprivation among the local people by resolving their problems at grassroots level.

He regretted that although huge funds had been given to MPAs, these were not being spent in a transparent way.

Mr Aslam Baloch of Baloch Student Organisation-Pajar said that under a plot, education system and educational institutions of the province were being destroyed.

He said the provincial government had not bothered to review educational curriculum over the past four years. He said that thousands of graduates of Balochistan were running from pillar to post in search of jobs but they were still jobless because the government was not ready to provide them with jobs and the private sector was fast winding up their businesses in the province because of serious law and order situation.

The writer is executive director of the Centre for Research and Security Studies  

Email: imtiaz@crss.pk