Government to initiate dialogue with Baloch rebel leaders


The government has decided to initiate talks with Baloch rebel leaders to bring them into mainstream national politics and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told the defence committee of the cabinet (DCC) on Wednesday about this decision. He said he had asked the Balochistan governor and chief minister to start implementing this decision.
Gilani’s meeting with the DCC extensively reviewed the security situation of the country and it was agreed that the state of law and order would be assessed consistently in order to effectively counter security threats. The meeting decided that stringent security measures were immediately needed to combat militancy and extremism.
Special attention to the demoralisation programme to stop youth from being involved in terrorist activities was stressed in the meeting. Consensus was also formed on the establishment of a National Crime Database at the Centre and the Interior Ministry was directed to immediately work on its functionality. The prime minister said the DCC was the highest forum to address matters related to Pakistan’s national security. He said the government wanted all institutions to play an effective role in promoting national interests. Gilani said ensuring security of citizens was the government’s primary responsibility, adding that consultation, cooperation and coordination among intelligence and law enforcement agencies was imperative to achieving this objective.
The prime minister said the country was going through a difficult period and issues related to criminal justice system and terrorism had seriously affected lives of citizens. He said further that problems such as funding, weapon supply, training and organisational support to terrorists needed to be identified clearly.