Balochistan CM doesn’t rule out IS militants’ presence in province


Baloch says religious extremism has increased in province during the last three decades

The chief minister of insurgency-hit Balochistan on Wednesday said he cannot rule out the presence of Islamic State (IS) militants in the province.

In an interview with a private news channel, Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch said that religious extremism and fanaticism had risen in the province during last three decades. Malik said religious fanatics had penetrated the Baloch society in the aftermath of the USSR’s invasion of neighbouring Afghanistan.

“I cannot rule out presence of IS or any militant group in Balochistan,” he said when asked about the reports of presence of the extremist militant group in Balochistan.

Regarding missing persons’ issue, the chief minister said that his government’s top priority was to recover the missing persons. He, however, admitted that so far “no considerable progress has been made with regard to missing persons”.

Baloch said that prior to the establishment of his government, he had apprised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over the issue of missing persons. “We have recovered eight missing persons from Turbat last week,” he said.

Talking about the recovery of mutilated dead bodies in Turbat and other areas of Makran belt, he said the government had taken serious notice of the issue.

When asked about talks with disgruntled Baloch leadership, the chief minister underlined the need for negotiated settlements of issues relating to Balochistan. “I stand for addressing all issues through political means,” he said.

Dr Malik did clarify that personally he had not held meetings with any exiled Baloch leader, including Brahamdagh Bugti or Harbiyar Marri. He also reiterated that an all-parties conference (APC) would be organised to sort out issues relating to Balochistan.

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