Govt directs provinces to tighten security
* Secret agencies say banned groups can exploit Balochistan crisis
By Shahzad Malik
ISLAMABAD: The government has directed all four provincial governments to keep their law enforcement agencies on high alert in view of the deteriorating security situation in Dera Bugti and Jhal Magsi where more than 50 people died in a bomb blast and 30 died in clashes between Frontier Constabulary officials and armed Bugti tribesmen.
The directives were issued by the Interior Ministry in light of intelligence reports indicating that the deteriorating security situation in parts of Balochistan could ignite unrest in other parts of the country, sources told Daily Times on Sunday.
The report said that banned religious groups and miscreants could exploit the situation and attempt to coincide their activities on the eve of Pakistan Day, sources said.
The ministry has directed the provincial home secretaries and senior police officials, including the chief commissioner and the inspector general of police, to keep law enforcement personnel on high alert and to continue their ongoing search against anti-social individuals, sources added.
The concerned authorities of the provinces’ have been asked to cancel the leaves of law enforcement officials by the end of the month and deploy them at locations where functions are to be held, sources said.
However, the ministry has decided to deploy Frontier Constabulary officials and capital police personnel in Islamabad on March 23 because of the army parade, sources said. President General Pervez Musharraf will be given a guard of honour by army contingents and Afghan President Hamid Karzai is likely to be the special guest on the occasion.
Frontier Constabulary officials will be deployed at sensitive areas, including the residences of diplomats located in various areas of the city. Capital police will be responsible for maintaining security and have been asked to enhance their patrols.
The inspector general of capital police has been directed to increase police personnel around Afghan slums located on the city’s outskirts, sources said.