Balochistan and the new anti-terror law

Apparently Rehman Malik spent the majority of his time on the floor presenting the Anti-terror bill discussing Baloch separatists.

But he devoted most of his speech — before the house was adjourned until 4.30pm on Wednesday — to separatist Baloch insurgents who, he said, had formed so-called armies and wanted to break up Pakistan with foreign help he promised to disclose in in-camera briefings.

Against them, he said, “Pakistani law-enforcement agencies have a right to react”, though he added: “The forces have been asked not to react (yet).”

But he said there could be no compromise with the insurgents unless they give up their secessionist designs and assured the house they would be defeated like Taliban militants in Malakand. “I offer them to let us join and hoist and salute the Pakistan flag … and we will give them whatever they demand,” the minister said rhetorically. “They will get nothing by opposing Pakistan.”

Mr Malik said the insurgents were targeting not only security forces, settlers from other parts of Pakistan like Punjab and Sindh but also “pro-Pakistan Balochis like Mr Jalib and activist Maula Bakhsh Dashti.

He blamed about 200 killings on insurgents from January to July 20, including three army officers, 21 Frontier Corps personnel, 27 police, 26 Punjabis, 21 Pakhtuns, 12 Sindhis and 112 others.

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