Dec 09, 2010

Balochistan: Chief Minister Confirms Presence of Taliban

Balochistan Chief Minister Raisani confirms the presence of Taliban in Balochistan but assures a perhaps disbelieving international community that they “are peaceful” and no governmental intervention is necessary.

Below is an article published by The Express Tribune:

Talking to the media after the inaugural session of the fifth training course under Balochistan Institute of Technical Education (BITE) here [Quetta] on Wednesday [08 December 2010], Raisani [Balochistan Chief Minister] said there are Taliban in Balochistan, but they are peaceful and enrolled in religious seminaries only to get education.

‘Since these Taliban are not terrorists, there is no reason for anyone to carry out drone attacks in Balochistan.’

He also denied the presence of American troops in this region, saying ‘we are slaves of Allah not America.’

Responding to a query about the suicide attack on him, Raisani said that those who were involved in the attack, be it the Laskhar-e-Jhangvi, Baloch United Liberation Front or any other organisation, they are terrorists and the government will go after them.

He said the pace of the reconciliation process is not slow on part of the government, citing the recruitment of people from Balochistan into Frontier Corps and the police in large numbers. He added this will remove the sense of deprivation.

“The government is still ready to hold talks with angry Baloch people,” he said, adding that he had invited the aggrieved for dialogue several times, but has not received any response from them so far.

Raisani said his government wants to resolve the issue through peaceful means but the choice of the means is up to the aggrieved people.

“If they, the angry Baloch, want to negotiate through dialogue, brutally or any other way, the government will be ready,” he said.

Earlier, while addressing the inaugural convention, Raisani lauded the role of BITE in imparting training to Baloch youth, under the supervision of the Pakistan Army. He announced a grant of Rs10 million for the BITE management.

Meanwhile, Commander Southern Command Lt. General Javed Zia said the people of Balochistan and the armed forces would foil all nefarious designs against the country.

He said that forces beyond our borders are involved in conspiracies against Pakistan that wish to destabilise the state, and warned them to desist from shedding the blood of Baloch people.

He announced that the army is inducting 10,000 youths from Balochistan in order to address the long-standing grievances and sense of deprivation.