The January 18th Army Operation in Balochistan | Q&A

Jan 2013
By M.A.

Yesterday (January 18, 2013), the Frontier Corps carried out a coordinated army operation in Mastung, Quetta’s Sariab Road and New Kahan neigborhood as well as parts of Dera Bugti in Balochistan.

Tanqeed speaks to Malik Siraj Akbar to get an update on the operation, and how it relates to the recent imposition of Governor’s rule in Balochistan.

Tanqeed: What is going on?

Malik Siraj Akbar: On January 18, 2013, the Frontier Corps said it conducted a ‘successful targeted operation’ in Mastung and killed two commanders of the Baloch Liberation Army (B.L.A.). In Quetta’s Sariab Road, which is a Baloch-majority neighborhood, the Police and the Frontier Corps (F.C.) arrested at least ten people in a joint door-to-door search operation. Similar operations are being reported from the New Kahan, a Baloch neighborhood in Quetta and parts of Dera Bugti. The Baloch National Front (B.N.F.), a coalition of various political parties and civil society groups, contests government’s claims that those who were killed or arrested were involved in terrorism. The B.N.F. has described the incidents as ‘extra-judicial’ and announced the observation of shutter-down and wheel jam strikes for the next five days in protest against the fresh operations.

TQ: Why is this operation going on?

MSA: While the source of instability in Balochistan emanates from multiple sources such as the Baloch nationalists, sectarian groups, the Taliban, pro-military underground groups, rival tribes, organized criminal gangs, officially declared operations are currently taking place only in Baloch-populated areas. The security forces have once again manipulated the context of attacks against the Hazaras and Shias to launch operations against the Baloch nationalists.

After the governor rule, several operations have begun in various districts. The security forces have moved into Mastung and Awaran Districts.

Soon after the imposition of the governor rule, Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, who is the new chief executive of Balochistan, convened a high-level meeting on January 16 in Quetta. The meeting was attended by senior officers of the Pakistan military, the Frontier Corps, the police and Interior Ministry. The governor asked the insurgents to give up arms against the Pakistani state and offered, in return, to pay Rs. 10, 000 to everyone who agreed to surrender.

The offer, nonetheless, remained ambiguous because it did not mention specifically whether it addressed the Baloch nationalists or the Sunni militants affiliated to the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi whose bomb blasts on January 10 in Quetta killed 120 people and led to the imposition of the governor rule.

Along with this offer, the government did not provide an ultimatum to the people it wanted to give up arms. In order to achieve the primary goal of the governor rule, to address the issue of law and order, the government officially announced to give a ‘free hand’ to the Frontier Corps and the police. In the past, the F.C. partly assisted the police only in Quetta in containing targeted killings but it is the first time that the F.C., which is headed by a Major General from the Pakistan army, has been given policing powers across Balochistan. Continue Reading >>

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One Response to The January 18th Army Operation in Balochistan | Q&A

  1. […] of telling these details, Mr Malik Siraj in an interviews with an “unknown website” Tanqeed twist this operation and claim that government is doing operation against Baloch nationalists to […]

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