“There is no military operation in any part of Balochistan and not a single soldier is out of the barracks,” the Director General Military Operation (DGMO) Major General Ishfaq Ahmed Nadeem said on Tuesday, refuting that any operations were ongoing in the estranged province.
Addressing a two-day National Workshop on “Balochistan Situation: Perceptions and Realities- The Way Forward,” organised by the National Defence University (NDU) in Islamabad, he said that propaganda claimed that there was a military operation going on in Balochistan.
“I want to make it clear that there is no military operation in Balochistan and this is a wrong perception being created through a well organised propaganda which should be removed”, the DGMO claimed.
Talking about establishment of cantonments in various parts of Balochistan especially in Sui and Kohlo, the Major General made it clear that the Army has no plans to establish new cantonments as per the decision of the Provincial government.
He said public support is crucial for any army and the “army is nothing without the support of people.”
Speaking about a solution for Balochistan, he said that the “army wants a political solution to the Balochistan issue and only dialogue and debate could pave the way for a solution of the issue.”
Regarding uplift schemes and development projects, he said that the Pakistan Army has revived work on Chamalang Coal Mines which provides not only employment to thousands but also brought peace in the area.
He pointed out that a number of educational institutions have been established in various parts of the province, even in Sui area, had fulfilled the dreams of attaining an education for many Baloch students. “Hundreds of Baloch youth have also been enrolled in Pakistan Army as officers besides thousands of ’jawans’ (foot soldiers) during the last four years,” he said.
To a question about the role of Frontier Corps (FC), Major General Nadeem said that the FC always acts on the direction of the provincial government and made it clear that the FC is not involved in the missing persons issue, which is currently being heard in the Supreme Court.
“Majority of names added in the missing persons list are in Ferari Camps (separatist camps), some of them have been jailed in Afghanistan due to their criminal activities and some others also reportedly in Afghanistan,” he apprised the workshop participants.
Earlier, in his welcome address, President National Defence University (NDU), Lt. General Umar Farooq said the University has organised the workshop to discuss the issue of Balochistan in detail and such events would pave way to understand the issue and find a viable solution.
Ambassador Aminullah Raisani, who is also brother to the Balochistan Chief Minister, also addressed the participants of the workshop and highlighted various aspects of the issue with historical background and different areas of the province.
A number of Baloch leaders including Yar Muhammad Jamali, Deputy Chairman Senate Sabir Baloch, Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizinjo, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Mir Ahmdan Bugti, Provincial Minister Mir Shahnawaz Mari, former Federal Minister Dr Abdul Malik Kansi, Member National Assembly Nasir Ali Shah, Sarfraz Masuri Bugti, Munir Khan Kakar and others were present on the ocassion. Former Vice Chancellor Balochistan University, Brig. (Retd) Agha A Gul and Secretary Science and Technology Government of Balochistan, Akbar Hussain Durrani also addressed the Workshop.