ISLAMABAD  -   Inspector General of Frontier Corps Balochistan (North) Major General Nadeem Anjum Wednesday testified before a Senate panel that Arab-based militant organisation Islamic State or Daesh have no footprints in the province.

He also ruled out that there was a separatist movement in Balochistan, the country’s most neglected province, and said: “There is terrorism in the province.”

Giving a briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on Interior about law and order situation in Balochistan, IG FC told the committee that two types of terrorists groups, one based on ideological narrative and the other on sub-nationalist narrative are involved in subversive activities in the province. He said that these groups were getting Rs3 billion financial aid annually.

According to FC chief, the militant groups having ideological narrative are Lashker-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Jamaat Al-Ahrar (JA), LeJ Al-Aalmi, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Sub-Continent (AQIS) and Daesh, and they have support from Afghanistan. He said that LeJ has been eliminated in the province.

The groups having sub-nationalist narrative are Baloch Republican Army (BRA), Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Liberation Front (BLF), and Lashker-e-Balochistan (LeB), IG FC Balochistan (North) said. During the briefing, Balochistan-based Senator Sarfraz Bugti, who was specially invited to the meeting, regretted that head of LeB was real brother of chief of Balochistan National Party (Mengal) Sardar Akhtar Mengal. “One brother is head of a terrorist organisation and other is part of the collation of the federal government,” he showed his surprise.

Major General Nadeem Anjum said that National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, and India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) have tried and achieved “to bring synergy to sub-nationalist and ideological terrorists.” The groups are different in names but their motivation and effects of the damages as a result of their activities are the same, he added. He said that Afghanistan was not a coherent and cohesive state and Indian influence on NDS was very much.

Conflict and violence is not new to Balochistan as it is 1200 years old, Major General Nadeem Anjum said, adding the province had remained in the five cycles of violence in the past many decades. However in all previous mutinies, some nationalist motivation was behind this violence and this factor is absent right now, he said. “Balochistan is a battle field of global great game,” he said adding that the enemies of Pakistan have plans to raise the level of violence in the province to the extent where UN intervention could be sought. The y wanted to manipulate the situation like it was done in Libya and Yemen, he said adding that their agenda is to sabotage China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and then use the situation to seek international intervention.

IG FC said that the peace had been restored to the otherwise restive province. He said that Quetta, the provincial capital of Balocihitan, had remained the focus of almost both terrorists, ideological and sub-nationalists. “But FC has overcome terrorism in the city.” He said that Hazara Community of the province was the primary target of the terrorists in the past but now the situation had improved since FC took the responsibility of their security. FC chief informed the committee that the force was also providing security to 1, 50, 000 zaireen who visit Iran through Balochistan’s land routes.

Major General Naddem Anjum said that large scale operation in Balochistan had been ended and now only intelligence-based operations were being under taken. He said that public support for the law enforcement agencies was the major shift and the now the flags of Pakistan are being hosted in every nook and corner of the province. He also said that BLA and PRA had only less than one percent foot prints in Balochistan.

Anjum said that 10 per cent areas in the province have been categorised as “A areas” and police were responsible for their law and order while rest of 90 per cent areas have been categorised as “B Areas” and they are with the Levies. He urged the need to bring reforms in Balochistan Police and the law and order responsibility of the whole of the province should be given to the police.

He said that FC was involved in free provision of health, education and community services to the people of province and bearing the costs from its own salaries. PML-N Senator Javed Abbasi objected and said that the civil administration should have the responsibility to provide health and education facilities as it was not the duty of law enforcement agencies to which the IG FC agreed. “FC is doing everything as part of the government and not an alternate to the government,” Major General Nadeem Anjum said.

State Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi regretted that a number of financial packages were announced in the past for the province but unfortunately nothing was achieved practically.

The FC chief also briefed the committee about organisational structure, achievements, and budgetary needs of the civil armed force.

At the end of meeting, the committee unanimously passed the resolution appreciating the “performance of FC against the anti-state elements.”

Chairman of the committee Senator Rehman Malik also informed the participants that he had taken a serious notice on the scam of hacking of banking data of the customers from Pakistani banks. I have directed Ministry of Interior, State Bank of Pakistan and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to submit the detail reports on this biggest security breach to the committee within next ten days, he added.