QUETTA, June 3: Balochistan Frontier Corps (FC) Inspector General (IG) Major-General Ubaidullah Khan Khattak has claimed that around 121 camps of the banned Baloch groups are operating in Balochistan and they are responsible for nationalist movement and deteriorating law and order situation in the province, while another 30 camps, sponsored by foreign powers, are functional in Afghanistan.
Speaking to media at FC headquarters on Saturday, Khattak said the rebel camps were being provided support from Afghanistan, while the Afghan government is neglecting their presence. He said these included 40 camps of Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), 26 of Baloch Republican Army (BRA), 19 of Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) and two camps belonged to Lashkar-e-Balochistan.
To a query, the FC IG said foreign hands were involved in deteriorating law and order situation in Balochistan and also supporting the militants financially.
“Teachers, doctors and many civilians have fallen prey to targeted killings,” said Khattak, adding that over 100,000 people had migrated from the province due to the poor law and order situation.
The FC chief insisted that the Balochistan issue was purely a political one and it should be resolved in a political manner. But at the same time, he issued a warning, saying, “Tit-for-tat action would be taken against those elements which are bent to disintegrate Pakistan and making propaganda against the country’s institutions.”
Khattak claimed that the number of terror acts had been reduced to a great extent in Balochistan as compared with the terror acts of last couple of years. However, he regretted that through a well-planned propaganda was being carried out against the law enforcement agencies personnel who had been sacrificing their lives for the security of people. “Through propaganda campaign and targeted attacks, the FC is being demoralised,” he added.
Khattak said 575 subversive incidents had occurred so far in the province during the current, year in which 254 people – including 57 FC personnel, two army men and 20 policemen – had been killed, while 258 of these incidents had been owned by the Baloch militant outfits.
“Attacks on FC have been increased during past several months which are aimed at to demoralize it physically and psychologically,” he added.
He further said the Levies Force was incapable and needed training to handle the criminals and the matter had been brought to the notice of provincial government. Situation in the ‘B Area’, which came under the Levies Force’s jurisdiction, was very serious and the FC was imparting training Levies Force so that it could be made affective, he added.
Referring to a recent interview of Baloch exiled leader Nawabzada Brahmdagh Bugti, Khattak said, “Nobody would be allowed to disintegrate Pakistan and we will continue fighting against those who talk about the breakup of the country.”
He said the FC wanted the support of Baloch people because no force could achieve the targets without their support.
To a query, Khattak dispelled the impression that the FC was not obeying the orders of provincial government. “FC is a federal force and deployed at borders; however, it was deployed in different parts of Balochistan following a request of the provincial government and is discharging its duties in accordance with the law”.
He stressed the need for unity amongst the people of the country, saying billions of dollars were being spent to destabilise the country. “Besides the security forces, it is also a responsibility of the citizens to play their role and foil the nefarious designs of anti-state elements”, he added.
The FC chief regretted that the accused persons involved in subversive activities always went unpunished by the courts. “121 accused persons involved in different incidents were arrested in 2011 but only 4 of them had been sentenced,” he added.
Referring to the hearings of missing persons case the Supreme Court, Khattak said he had appeared before the bench four times and always tried to uphold the rule of law. However, he said the way he was reported in the media was regrettable. “I had gone to Iran on an official visit and an official of FC had appeared before the bench during recent hearing behalf of me. But the media reported that IGFC is not appearing before the court,” he said, and adding that he (Khattak) was just an employee of the state. Khattak said the FC respected courts and political institutions. “There is no motive of FC but to maintain law and order and protect borders,” he added. Responding to a question, he said limited force was being used in Balochistan to eliminate the militant camps of militants; therefore, these camps still existed.
He said in the military operation of 2006-07, militants camps had been almost finished, however, following the elections of 2008, a political government came in power and the army was withdrawn and some cantonments were dismantled that helped militants to reorganize.