Balochistan seeks powers under FCR to fight terrorism
By Jamal Shahid
ISLAMABAD: The Balochistan government has demanded pre-1958 powers under the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) to curb crimes and prevent acts of terror in the province.
`The provincial administration has no legal powers in Balochistan that has become a war zone,` Home Secretary Mohammad Akbar told a meeting of the Senate`s Functional Committee on Human Rights on Thursday.
Committee members, especially Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal, criticised both the federal and provincial governments for their failure to stop acts of terror in the province.
Dr Jamaldini lost his son in the Aug 8 suicide attack on Quetta`s Civil Hospital that claimed the lives of morethan 70 people, including lawyers.
Though not on the agenda of the meeting, the security situation came under discussion, especially after the Oct 24 gun-and-suicide attack on the Police Training College, Quetta, in which over 60 cadets died. The senators said they wanted know who had powers in Balochistan to restore stability there.
Mohammad Akbar said: `Balochistan has become a cocktail of insurgencies, religious extremism and other criminal activities. We cannot hide that the system has failed in Balochistan.
The Senate committee recommended that standard operating procedures be followed when there was information about and threat of possible attacks so that precious lives could be saved.
The committee asked about the number of people killed and bodies found dumped in Balochistan over the past five years, copies of FIRs, DNA tests of the victims and whether there was any nexus between those reported missing and those killed and dumped. The home secretary sought one month to furnish the replies.