QUETTA - Home Minister Mir Sarfraz Bugti stated on Saturday Balochistan province has seen a considerable improvement in the overall law and order situation in the last six months, compared to when the former government was in power.

Speaking on the floor of Balochistan Assembly, Bugti said there were three types of security challenges to the coalition government: insurgency, sectarian violence and organized crime.

According to him, the menace of sectarian violence has been controlled to a greater extent. The issue of organized crime, he added, was administrative in nature and was neglected by successive governments. About insurgency, he said the federal government had decided to authorize the provincial government to hold talks with insurgents for which an all-party conference was being convened.

The home minister recalled that before formation of the government in Balochistan, coalition leaders – Dr Abdul Maalik Baloch, Mehmood Khan Achakzai and Nawab Sanaullah Zehri – had agreed on the agenda of good governance and corruption elimination. He said the new government eradicated political influence from Levis and Police that had made them infirm. “We launched one-five [15] help centre with formation of a reform committee for police.”

Bugti informed the House that the provincial government had called Frontier Constabulary for help, and said if any member had any reservations, an in-camera briefing could be arranged and the Frontier Constabulary chief and deputy inspector general called.

He said previously, there used to be no correspondence between the institutions, but now meetings of all the institutions were being called on a daily basis with a government representative in presence.

About the issue of missing persons, the minister said although the matter was pending with the courts, the government was making efforts for release of missing persons. He rejected reports by Voice for Baloch Missing Persons that the number of missing persons ran in thousands, saying the commission, established by the federal government, had put this number around 60.

In response to a question by the opposition leader that what would be the agenda of Dr Maalik Baloch for talks with insurgents, Bugti said he had the package of 18th Amendment that he would take along.”

He said the Baloch and Pashtun elders would also accompany Dr Baloch when he would go for talks with insurgents and ask them to come to the negotiating table as the government would not allow its writ to be challenged at any cost.

He also said salaries of Levis and Police were higher in Balochistan, compared to other parts of the country.

a