General Zia expresses concern over instability in Balochistan

QUETTA: Southern Command Commander Lt Gen Jawaid Zia expressed his grave concern over the killings of Baloch missing persons and the dumping of their bodies in the streets and said that it might result in Balochistan breaking away from the country.Lt Gen Jawaid Zia made these observations while talking to local editors and senior journalists at Quetta Press Club on Thursday. Inspector General of Frontier Corps Balochistan Major General Obaidullah Khattak was also present on the occasion.

In his first ever face-to-face chat with the local press, the lieutenant general said that the military had no hand in the disappearance of Baloch citizens, their killing, or their disposal in the streets of Balochistan. He said that the army realised that it was a very serious and highly sensitive issue and caused hatred.“Certain ‘elements’ who do not believe in the courts are involved in the killing and throwing the dead bodies of missing persons, however despite that, if some are at fault and involved in some crime, this is not the way and there is no such policy of Army Chief General Kayani,” he said. He said that he was aware of the feelings aroused against the country and government when families lost their kith and kin. He said that the army was making efforts to restore the people’s confidence in their country.

He categorically dispelled the impression that the army wanted to capture the resources of Balochistan by setting up mines and initiating mineral projects, and said that the army would get nothing from these profit-making projects. He said that these projects were for the benefit of the people of the province. He said that no country could win wars without the support of its people. He said that the army wanted to set role models by taking active part in bringing about prosperity in Balochistan.

To a question about the relationship of the General Headquarters with the provincial government, he said that he and his corps were enjoying excellent support in various projects. He stated that the army was not a separate entity from the government and that they desired to help each other in various fields in Balochistan, particularly education. He said that the presence of the army chief, Balochistan governor and chief minister under one roof, in a meeting aimed at development of Balochistan, and was reflective of their unity.He said that the army had decided to celebrate Independence Day by arranging different events for a whole week prior to the month of Ramazan. He said that a number of sports events had already begun, while the prize distribution ceremonies would be held on 14th August. – Dailytimes