Pakistan to freeze assets of Balochistan militants

By Awais Saleem,IANS,

Islamabad : Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced Wednesday that all assets of militant outfits in Balochistan province would be frozen as the government “has come to its wits’ end”.

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“We are going to launch targeted action against these elements,” Malik said at a press conference in Quetta, capital of Balochistan.

Balochistan has been affected by insurgency for over a decade now and militants have been particularly targeting the non-Baloch population. Recently, passengers were ordered to disembark from a bus coming from Lahore and 17 of them were killed because their identity cards were from Punjab.

“We have given powers to police and the Frontier Corps at the discretion of the chief minister,” Malik said, adding that no further negotiations would be held with anti-state elements.

“It is time to act now and we’ll follow them all the way to get rid of this problem once and forever,” he stressed.

“Terrorists are killing our children and we can’t show any leniency towards them,” Malik said.

He, however, clarified that the nature of action would be different from the one in Swat and Malakand region, because authorities “can identify the trouble-makers”.

The interior minister accused Afghanistan of providing shelter to terrorists wanted by Pakistan.

“Foreign elements are trying to take advantage of the unrest in Balochistan. We have to take action to bring normalcy back to the province and end the state of fear prevalent in the minds of the people,” he said.