‘What has state done wrong’, says PM on action against Baloch protesters


LAHORE: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has once again defended the police action against Baloch protesters in Islamabad last month, saying that the state will not allow anyone to unleash violence and kill people.

The premier remarks came while responding to a question regarding the use of police force against the Baloch families who had been protesting in the federal capital against “extra-judicial killings” and enforced disappearances.

PM Kakar engaged in a lengthy interaction with students of the Beaconhouse National University in Lahore on Tuesday.

He said that nobody would be allowed to unleash violence in the name of political, ethnic and religious divides as it was its responsibility to ensure law and order. The interim prime minister also asserted that “such elements” would never prevail in Pakistan.

The government, he said, would not allow terrorists and militants to kill people with impunity as they had openly declared a fight against the state and the civilians in the country, the APP said.

“We have accepted their challenge,” he said and expressed the resolve to respond to all threats with full forcefully.

“What the government has done wrong? The state enforces the law as it has to be enforced whether anyone likes it or not,” PM Kakar responded to another question regarding the use of water cannons against the demonstration.

He went on to say that the use of water cannons against the Baloch protesters was much criticised though he could cite about 200 incidents of its use in the European countries against protesters.

The caretaker prime minister further said that the law enforcement forces retaliated when they were pelted upon with stones. All the arrested people had been released subsequently, he added.

He added that the women were agitating before the National Press Club, Islamabad which was their right, adding that they were giving the media interviews and enjoyed freedom of expression.

He went on to say that holding protests and demonstrations within the limits of laws throughout the world was a basic right but when those parameters were violated then laws were enforced by the governments.

Yesterday, PM Kakar had slammed “elements” who were backing armed militants under the guise of supporting Baloch protesters — who were subjected to police brutality in Islamabad.

The premier, referring to criticism by a section of the media, said that the protest of the Baloch families in the federal capital city was being painted wrongly and in sharp contrast to the realities as the Baloch people stood with the state.

He also clarified that there was no restriction on freedom of expression and every citizen has the right to protest within constitutional limits.