238th Corps Commanders Conference at Army Headquarters Rawalpindi

Amid a sharp uptick in terrorist violence, especially in Balochistan, after a long lull, the military brass has renewed the pledge to defeat “terrorists and their abettors at all costs”. According to the military’s media wing, the ISPR, the corps commanders paid special tribute to all martyrs and their families for supreme sacrifices rendered for peaceful and secure Pakistan, especially the recent incidents in Balochistan

At the 238th Corps Commanders Conference in army headquarters chaired by COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa on 5 January 2021, two important security issues were discussed, first the ongoing security situation along with the Line of Control and second the increasing terrorist attacks in Balochistan with special focus on the situation arising out of the killing of Hazara labourers in Mach. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) also held a meeting on this very day to review the security issues related to PDM Jalsa and to work out a plan of action especially to deal with the protest scheduled by the PDM on 19 January 2021.

When asked by the host Nyla Ali how critical the meeting of the Crops Commanders was, Dr Shahid Masood pointed out that this was very important as there was an internal security crisis in the country. From the killing of forces at the borders to the killing of minority community labourers belonging to the Hazara community, the security situation was going from bad to worse. He underlined that we know the issues but what is the solution?. He said that the interior minister Sheikh Rashid flew to Quetta two days later and even then there was no breakthrough and the protesting Hazara’s were demanding that PM Imran Khan should visit them and listen to their grievances but there wasn’t any possibility of his visit and on top of it Balochistan CM Jam Kamal is out of the country and he should have immediately rushed back to handle the situation. Time is slipping by and the PTI government should take some practical actions and not just organize press conferences and meetings.

He pointed out that the crisis is further deepening, lawlessness is increasing and the Hazara’s are protesting in the chill of the winter and refusing to bury the bodies until they get some assurances from the security forces and federal government but until now it is not yet clear if the PM will visit them. He said that the PM should stop discussing reforms (like police reform) and start acting. He pointed out that that uncounted number of civilians and army personnel had been massacred in Balochistan and it was strategically very important for Pakistan. He said that India has its eyes on Balochistan and the CPEC and people are looking towards the army with hope for a solution. He was of the opinion that the system is not working right now in Pakistan and it has to go.

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