Against the backdrop of a renewed wave of targeted attacks against senior police officers in Balochistan, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in Quetta on Friday and reviewed the security situation prevailing in the restive province.
In less than a week, seven policemen, among them two senior officers, have been martyred in Quetta and Chaman in two gun-and-bomb attacks reportedly by militants of the banned Jamaatul Ahrar and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.
The army chief assured the people of Balochistan that their prosperity would remain his priority and his focus was on bringing them on a par with the people of other provinces.
Accompanied by Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Aamer Riaz, the COAS visited the Quetta Garrison as well as the headquarters of the Frontier Corps, Balochistan, where he was given a briefing on the security situation in the province.
According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations, the army chief was apprised that “terrorists in desperation” were targeting law enforcement agencies and soft targets since there had been a phenomenal reduction in targeted killings on sectarian grounds in the province.
Gen Bajwa appreciated the efforts of the army, FC, police and intelligence and other agencies as well as the provincial administration for achieving improvement in the security situation.
He especially mentioned efforts in the socioeconomic domain and resultant considerable voluntary surrender of ferraris — a term used for the militants belonging to Baloch nationalist groups.
Later, he interacted with officers and troops and appreciated their morale and motivation. “We are Army for people of Pakistan and shall continue to perform our duty with their full support,” he said, according to the ISPR.
A day before the army chief’s visit, SP Mubarak Shah and his three police guards were martyred in Quetta in a gun attack by four men riding two motorcycles.
Earlier on Monday, Qilla Abdullah District Police Officer Sajid Khan Mohmand, his security guard and driver were martyred and over 10 other people, including five policemen, wounded in a suicide blast in the border town of Chaman.
The banned Jamaatul Ahrar militant group claimed responsibility for the Quetta attack. However, the militant Islamic State group also took the responsibility for the SP’s killing through the group’s affiliated Amaq news agency.
The banned TTP claimed that it was behind Monday’s suicide blast in Chaman.