Islamabad, July 4 — Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was in for a shocker earlier this week when he learnt that the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Frontier Corps (FC) had never been questioned about their operations in Balochistan province.
Sharif was holding a high-level meeting in Quetta Tuesday to discuss the law and order situation there when this reality dawned on him, The News International reported Thursday.
According to the report, Sharif came to know that the ISI and the FC were never asked about their operations in Balochistan for 16 years now nor had any government taken any ownership for their actions.
“For the first time in 16 years, we have been asked to explain our doings and the government is ready to take the political ownership,” an insider said quoting the inspector general of the FC and the ISI chief of Balochistan, according to the report.
“Now you will see results of this ownership,” they were quoted as saying by The News.
Sharif’s visit to Quetta took place two days after a suicide attack claimed 30 lives in the Hazara neighbourhood of the city. The area has seen a series of terrorist acts since January.
The prime minister had also undertaken a short tour of the city along with the directors-general of the ISI and the Intelligence Bureau (IB), “something that happened for the first time in recent history as otherwise the political leadership keep whispering about the questionable activities of the agencies without holding them accountable”, the newspaper report said.
According to the FC inspector-general, this was the first time that the governments at the federal and provincial levels had asked about their activities as no previous regime had acknowledged the sacrifices made by the FC troopers in Balchistan.
According to the insider, the FC inspector-general also said that Balochistan Chief Minister Abduk Malik was the first chief executive of the province to regularly convene meetings with the FC, exchanging views and looking for solutions.
During the course of Tuesday’s meeting, Sharif had ordered the ISI and the IB to bring the perpetrators behind certain terrorist activities in Quetta to book.
The province of Balochistan is also witness to people going missing under mysterious circumstances and the general public there allege that such people are in the custody of security agencies.
After learning that the FC and the ISI’s activities in Balochistan had gone unquestioned, Sharif decided to call a meeting of all political parties having representation in parliament July 12 to discuss the overall law and order situation, including Balochistan.