ISLAMABAD: There are 46 insurgent camps in Balochistan in addition to 24 training camps in the vicinity of Kandahar in Afghanistan which are to foment unrest in that province, Interior Minister Rehman Malik informed the Senate on Friday.
Winding up a debate over the Balochistan situation, the minister claimed that Pakistan’s friends and foes, who had vested interest in the mineral-rich province, were equally involved in financing and backing militants in Balochistan .
According to Malik, evidence suggested that as many as 36 of the training camps were “operating in small pockets” and they were being harboured by India, adding that the matter had been taken up with the Indian authorities without any success.
Terming farari camps as the root cause of the Balochistan unrest, Malik called for their elimination through “some monitoring mechanism, to nip the evil in the bud”.
Although no date was fixed, the House decided to have an in-camera briefing from the interior minister along with officials of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and other law-enforcement agencies to ascertain facts. The date for the briefing would be finalised soon.
Assuring the upper house of parliament that he would inform the Senators about the “current security situation”, the minister said that lawlessness had made people’s lives miserable. “Give me an opportunity and I will tell you what our friends are up to…forget the enemies [and] let me share with you what our friends are doing to us,” he offered.
In his winding up speech, Malik discussed countless evidence on the Balochistan situation, detailing India and Afghanistan’s role in creating hatred among the Baloch people against Pakistan. Without naming “friendly countries”, Malil reiterated his request for an in-camera briefing on the issue.
Presenting proof of training camps inside Afghanistan, he gave a number of official letters written by none other than the Afghan government to its security agencies, calling for funding “dissidents to create Bangladesh-like situation in Balochistan”.
Accusing India and Afghanistan of facilitating the proscribed Balochistan Liberation Army’s (BLA) fugitive leader Brahamdagh Bugti, he said that both countries were helping his (Brahamdagh’s) men in Pakistan in connection with obtaining visas, passports, financing, including provision of arms and ammunition, to carryout terrorist acts in the province.
Malik also showed proof of camps where insurgents were being trained near Kandhar and elsewhere in Afghanistan. These terrorists, he said, were later sent to Pakistan “to carry out what they are trained”. The minister insisted that no compromise would be made on the national interest and all decisions regarding opening of North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (Nato) supply route had been made keeping in view the “dignity and sovereignty of Pakistan”.
Responding to a point of order raised by Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F)‚ Malik said that the memorandum of understanding signed for the restoration of Nato supply route “will be made public”.
“We’ve not budged from our stand to implement recommendations of joint resolutions made by parliament. We still stick to them [and] further decisions will be taken in the light of parliamentary resolutions,” he maintained.
To another point of order raised by Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) over the law and order situation in Karachi‚ he said security arrangements in the Sindh metropolis had improved a lot by reducing sectarian and ethnic polarisation. Malik claimed that the total number of missing persons in Balochistan was 36, in Punjab it was 222 and 100 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. He said that the Chief Justice of Pakistan had made tireless efforts to recover these people. He went on saying that the government under the directions of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court would find a solution to the issue, adding that he would provide all details about missing persons to the apex court as directed.
The house was prorogued indefinitely.