Check growing violence in GB, Balochistan

ONE after another acts of violence in Gilgit Baltistsan region should be a matter of serious concern and worry not only for the GB government but also for the Centre given the geo-strategic location of the area, which will see increased trade and economic activity with completion of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. In the latest pre-dawn attack on Saturday, three policemen were martyred and two others injured when militants attacked a police station in Kargah area. The terrorists killed in the attack were reportedly affiliated with a militant group gaining prominence in Afghanistan and was a senior commander for the group in the Afghan province of Nuristan. The Afghan soil has repeatedly been used against Pakistan and the new government after assuming the office should forcefully raise the matter with the top Afghan leadership and both the countries in fact will have to work together to put an end to cross border movement of such undesirable elements which also pose serious risk to bilateral relationship between the two countries.
The area of Kargah, where police personnel were attacked, is connected to Tangir and other parts of Diamer where militants torched twelve girls’ schools a few days back. Foreign element was also blamed for this attack but there is no doubt that such attacks cannot be executed without local infrastructure and support. Thus, there is need to hold an in depth investigation into all the recent violent acts in GB to expose elements behind them and bring them to justice at the earliest. The way schools and security personnel have been attacked recently in GB, more such attacks in other areas and installations in GB cannot be ruled out, so the security forces should remain fully alert to thwart such nefarious designs. The local people also need to remain watchful and report any suspicious activity to the police.
Gilgit Baltistsan and Balochistan are very critical for success of the CPEC and the enemy wants to destabilise both the regions to sabotage the mega project. Saturday also saw a terrorist attack in Balochistan in which three Chinese engineers got injured, an incident also condemned by China. These attacks should leave no doubt in our minds that India which is also using Afghan soil against us is all out to stoke anarchy and unrest in the country with the aim to disrupt the CPEC, a project which has the potential to transform the entire economic landscape of the country. While providing full security to the Chinese working on the CPEC, the federal and provincial governments need to stay focused on the implementation of National Action Plan (NAP) on terrorism and all state institutions should work in close coordination to foil enemy designs.
NACTA really needs to activate its joint intelligence directorate as it will serve as an effective platform to pre-empt terrorist attacks. Then the new federal government is certainly required to pay special attention towards development of both GB and Balochistan to remove sense of deprivation of the local population. Gilgit Baltistsan order 2018 is a step in the right direction to ensure region’s meaningful integration with the mainland. Apart from security measures, development packages both for Balochistan and GB will also greatly contribute to tackle militancy and would make the regions abode of peace and stability, which is prerequisite for reaping CPEC benefits.

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