“Decoding Nexus between Criminal Gangs and Insurgents in Balochistan” organized by the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), Islamabad
Islamabad (Thursday, March 29, 2012): When state institutions begin patronizing crime, how can common citizens feel safe? Worsening of law and order has emerged as the biggest threat to Balochistan because people carrying ID cards allegedly of intelligence agencies are abusing their authority for personal gains. These were the views expressed by speakers and duly sanctioned by the participants at a roundtable discussion forum, “Decoding Nexus between Criminal Gangs and Insurgents in Balochistan” organized by the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), Islamabad at its office.
National Party of Balochistan’s vice president and senator, Mir Hasil Bizenjo termed the failure of law and order situation in Balochistan as the biggest threat to the province. He underlined that people carrying ID cards allegedly of intelligence agencies are abusing their authority for personal, financial and political gains. “They get involved in all types of crimes from kidnappings to car snatching to drug smuggling”, he noted. Dilating upon the apathy of state security apparatus, he mentioned that security forces cannot apprehend any influential criminal because of the nexus between political elite, criminal gangs and agencies.
No security agency dares stopping or preventing these people from criminal activities. Thus, they operate with impunity, practically unchecked. “When state institutions begin patronizing crime, how can common citizens feel safe?” he raised a crucial questions about the intentions of the state. “State writ is absent in Balochistan. Levies and FC have become ineffective because of the collusion between criminal gangs and politicians’, he lamented. Discussing the prospects of change in Balochistan as a result of new elections, he said that new elections bring relative changes in the province, but it cannot alter the entire status quo in the hapless province. He observed that until Pakistan Army will not stop thinking about Afghanistan and India, it will be very difficult for the establishment to disengage from Balochistan
because the two countries heavily weigh on its policies towards Balochistan.
Dr Ishaq Baloch, senior leader of National Party, Balochistan noted that the government has received PKR 170 billion but people are the least beneficiaries. Reko Dek has become victim of personal greed of rulers who are committing a big fraud in the name of this project by declining rights to the foreign company TTC. By delaying the Rek Dek project, the federal and provincial governments are doing big injustice to the people of Balochistan. Highlighting the existent dysfunctional state of Balochistan government, he observed that it cannot even prepare curricula let alone develop capacity for mining the Reko Dek mines. He said that the collusion of crime and politics certainly has become alarming and the home minister as well as senior police officials also acknowledged this in recent days. He said that there are back to back media reports, indicating the role of government ministers in promoting and protecting criminal activities in the volatile province.
Shiekh Asad Rahman of SUNGI Development Foundation said that for stemming the rising tide of crime and militancy in the province, political governance shall have to be led by the civilians. He said that political representation of Balochistan at the Centre could also correct the existing imbalance in state vs. Balochistan relations. He noted that criminal gangs are operating the in province under the nose and with the collusion of political elite in the province. He said that a brother of sitting Chief Minister of Balochistan is involved in car snatching and kidnapping in the province and state agencies are not taking action against him. He emphasized that if the central government is serious to resolve Balochistan issue, it should withdraw federal security forces from the province and let the civilian government run state affairs.