Friday, October 7, 2022

Imran Khan claims recent attacks in Balochistan had foreign support

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday claimed that terrorists involved in the recent deadly attacks in the troubled southwestern Balochistan province had foreign support.
At least nine soldiers and 20 militants were killed in clashes and follow-up cleanup operations after Baloch rebels attacked Naushki and Panjgur areas of the province last week.
The banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the attacks. The separatist outfit has recently stepped up attacks on security forces and installations.
The security forces had claimed that during the fight they intercepted communication between the militants and their handlers in Afghanistan and India.
In the past, the External Affairs Ministry has dismissed Pakistan’s allegations of India’s involvement in some of the terror strikes in that country and said the so-called claims of “proof” are figments of imagination.
The MEA had said that Pakistan’s desperate attempt will find few takers as the international community is aware of its tactics, and proof of Islamabad’s terror sponsorship has been admitted by none other than its own leadership.
Prime Minister Khan, along-with Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, on Tuesday visited Naushki where four soldiers, including an officer, were killed in the attack.
“Foreign funding is involved in terrorist attacks in Balochistan…But those involved in spreading chaos will not get anything out of it,” Khan said while addressing the troops.
“We are hopeful that terrorists will never succeed in Pakistan.”
He also announced a 15 per cent increase in the salary of soldiers of paramilitary troops of Frontier Corps and Rangers, which are at the forefront of fighting militancy and keeping law and order in Balochistan and neighbouring Sindh province.
Khan also said that the government was undertaking projects for development of Balochistan. “We will carry out development work here to such an extent that nobody will listen to elements who provoke people here against the government and armed forces,” he said.
He said that the second phase of the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project is focusing on promoting industrialisation and technology which will directly benefit Balochistan.
Khan was also briefed about the security situation in the wake of attacks. He also met the local tribal elders.
Separately, the Pakistan Army said in a statement that Gen Bajwa spent the day with troops and also met those who repulsed the attack on February 2. He was also briefed about the security situation in the area as well as operational preparedness of troops.
The attacks on February 2 were the latest in a string of such assaults in Balochistan and came a week after 10 soldiers were killed in a terrorist attack on a security forces’ checkpost in the province’s Kech district on the night of January 25-26.
Balochistan, bordering Iran and Afghanistan, is home to a long-running violent insurgency. Baloch insurgent groups have previously carried out several attacks targeting the CPEC projects in the region.
On January 28, three Levies Force personnel and a Bugti tribal leader were killed and eight others injured in bomb blasts in the Sui area of Dera Bugti.