Quetta bombings a ‘test case’ for ISI, IB: Nawaz
* PM constitutes task force to maintain law and order in Balochistan
* Says acts of terrorism against innocent people will not be tolerated
QUETTA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that he has directed the law enforcement agencies, including the ISI and Intelligence Bureau, to treat Sunday’s bombing in the provincial capital as a test case and catch the culprits.
Addressing a joint press conference after a day of meetings with the provincial government and law enforcement agencies in Quetta, the premier said that the acts of violence in the province were not acceptable anymore. “This (attacks) is neither acceptable for the provincial government nor for the federal government.” Nawaz said the governor, chief minister, interior minister and heads of security forces, including the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Intelligence Bureau, were present in their meetings.
“The administration here needs to bring improvement in their governance and the authorities in police need to realise their duty.” Nawaz said that Quetta was a small city of around 20 lanes and that it should not be too hard to secure it. Assuring Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Malik all possible support from the federal government, including the best police officers in the country, Nawaz expressed his determination to combat terrorism.
“If we keep fighting them in such a determined manner, we will manage to end terrorism.” The prime minister said that he would keep visiting the province to keep an eye on progress being made. He has also constituted a task force to maintain law and order in Balochistan. Addressing a high-level meeting in Quetta on Tuesday, Nawaz directed all the security agencies to ensure close coordination to curb terrorism. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Nawaz arrived in Quetta to discuss the security condition of the city in the aftermath of the attack on the Hazara community.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Abdul Qadir Baloch, Mahmood Khan Achakzai and Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo accompanied the prime minister on his one-day visit. On reaching Quetta, Nawaz was taken to the Governor’s House where he headed the meeting on the law and order situation. The Balochistan governor, chief minister, inspector general of police, FC IG and interior secretary were also present in the meeting.
Nawaz said that his government is determined to bring a marked improvement in the administration, making it more responsive to the needs of society. He said that the terrorists and people involved in disappearance of citizens would be made accountable. The prime minister said the election of Dr Malik Baloch as Balochistan chief minister had sent a positive message to the people and now the new provincial government will have to show some positive results.
Nawaz praised the role of police and Frontier Corps whose officials laid down their lives while fighting terrorists and lawbreakers. He expressed the hope that the problem of missing persons would be resolved soon. The premier said he would place best police officials at the disposal of the provincial government if the chief minister demanded. Nawaz said he had talked to the intelligence officials who promised to provide help to the government in maintaining peace and tranquillity in Quetta. The prime minister said that acts of terrorism against the innocent people would not be tolerated.
Nawaz said his government would help all the provincial governments, including non-PML-N governments in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said leaders of other parties would also be invited to a big conference for restoration of peace from Khyber to Karachi. On Sunday, a suicide bomber detonated explosives strapped to his body amid a crowd of people near an imambargah in the Hazara Town of Quetta shortly after Maghrib prayers. At least 29 people, among them nine women and three children, were killed and 65 injured, nearly half of them critically. Banned sectarian extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which has carried out most attacks on the Hazara community, claimed the bombing in a phone call to media offices in Quetta.