PM comes down hard on ‘elements’ backing terrorists under disguise of Baloch protesters

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Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar Monday slammed “elements” who were backing armed militants under the guise of supporting Baloch protesters — who were subjected to police brutality in Islamabad.

The prime minister’s comments during a press conference in Lahore as Baloch families protest in Balochistan against “extra-judicial killings” and enforced disappearances.

PM Kakar asserted that the state won’t accept those elements who were supporting terrorists and armed militants involved in the killing of Balochistan people including doctors, lawyers, and teachers.

PM Kakar, referring to criticism by a section of media, said that the protest of the Baloch families in Islamabad was being painted wrongly and in sharp contrast to realities as the Baloch people stood with the state.

The premier said that there was no restriction on freedom of expression and every citizen has the right to protest within constitutional limits. “The families have the right to protest for their beloved ones but others are just launching baseless criticism.”

He, however, the state won’t allow elements backing and spreading the narrative of militants and terrorists. The prime minister added that it was not his mandate to respond to those criticising him on social media.

“Those who want to support them [armed militants] should join the camp of the militant outfits who termed terrorism as a movement,” he added.

He said that the terrorists in Balochistan had been receiving funding from the Indian spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), and killing people in Balochistan.

The caretaker prime minister said that about 90,000 people had been killed in the fight against terrorism but hardly any nine accused had been convicted so far.

The prime minister opined that the criminal justice system in the country required improvement.

Answering a question, PM Kakar said that the firing incident in Dera Ismail Khan over vehicles of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) supremo Maulana Fazlur Rehman was alarming.

He added that the government was responding to security threats in the southern parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with all the available resources.

He vowed that all the resources and security apparatus would be utilised to ensure the holding of general elections peacefully.