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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Extremists from Punjab involved in Balochistan unrest, says Malik

By: Bari Baloch | Published: October 20, 2011
QUETTA - Pakistan will next month reactivate a biometric computerised system to monitor movement of people crossing Pak-Afghan border, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference at CM Secretariat here, Malik said the government was going to revive immigration system, by restoring biometric system at Chaman and Torkham borders from November 30 to monitor movement of people through Pak-Afghan border from both sides. He said the government would convene a peace conference in Quetta, adding that a third party was involved in sectarian violence in Balochistan. “We are ready to hold dialogue with the disgruntled people who have climbed up mountains if they are ready to honour Pakistani flag,” he told the press conference.
Balochistan Home Minister Mir Zafarullah Zehri was also present on the occasion.
Malik said on the special directives of Prime Minister, he met with the people of Hazara community and Sunni scholars and discussed with them the issue of sectarian violence. “I got positive response from both sides. Thus we have decided to call a peace conference in Quetta next month inviting scholars from across the world including Imam Kaba’a to get rid of sectarian violence,” he informed.
He said a third party was involved in the incidents of sectarian violence and they were committing crimes for the sake of money. However, he vowed that they would be chased and punished. Referring to the security of Hazara community, he said police and Frontier Corps would provide security to the vehicles of Hazara pilgrims. It’s a temporary solution but the government is working on long-term plan to curb incidents of terrorism, he informed.
Malik said intelligence agencies had provided phone data which proved that some prisoners were involved in carrying out anti-peace activities in Quetta and other areas of Balochistan from jails. He said the law personnel conducted a raid last night in Quetta jail and recovered mobile phones from some prisoners.
“After complete investigation, action will be taken in accordance with the record of these phones.” Police have been directed to separate high-profile criminals in jails so that they could not operate, he said adding that he had ordered the reinvestigation of escaping of Usman Kurd from ATF sub-jail.
Responding to a question, he said President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani wanted to bring Baloch nationalists into mainstream . To a question, he said if party allows he is ready to expose corruption committed by the Sharif brothers.
and added that Governor, Chief Minister and Home Minister of Balochistan had been playing an active role for maintaining peace in the province.
Citing Ireland and Sri Lanka’s insurgencies, Malik said government was making progress in holding dialogue with the disgruntled elements but it would take time.
He said three districts including Quetta were sensitive.
Agencies add: Malik said members of some banned outfits of Punjab were also involved in anti-peace activities in Balochistan.
Referring to the missing persons issue, the Interior Minister said the total number of missing hailing from Balochistan was 54 and not 6,000. He said the commission set up to track the missing persons was active and discharging its services effectively. He said the PPP-led government was aware of Balochistan’s conditions and wanted to put it on the track of progress and prosperity.
He announced to grant arms licences to every member of Quetta Press Club so that they could keep licensed weapon for their safety and security.

THE NATION

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