Kayani reviews security arrangements for polls in Balochistan
Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has reviewed security arrangements for the general election in Balochistan and called for peaceful polls in the restive southwestern province.
Quetta: Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has reviewed security arrangements for the general election in Balochistan and called for peaceful polls in the restive southwestern province.
Kayani emphasised the need for implementing a security plan chalked out for the May 11 polls during a meeting here yesterday with senior civil and military officials.
Sources said Kayani`s visit to Quetta reflected the importance attached by the security establishment to polls in Balochistan, where separatist groups have urged people to boycott the election.
The army chief also reviewed the deployment of army troops for poll duties in different parts of Balochistan.
Southern Command chief Lt Gen Mohammad Aalam Khatak, Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad, Home Secretary Akbar Durrani and heads of security and intelligence agencies attended the meeting.
"The strategy plan devised for the conduct of peaceful polls in Balochistan is apparently well coordinated and integrated," Kayani said.
He asked the officials to ensure that all-out efforts were made for holding peaceful elections.
Maj Gen Asim Bajwa said the deployment of army troops in Balochistan had been completed.
About 7,000 soldiers had been mobilised across the province after the army was called out to aid the civil administration, he said.
There was liaison between the security forces and intelligence agencies and "quick response forces" were prepared to repulse any attacks, Bajwa said.
Joint patrolling by security forces had begun in "volatile districts", he added.
Expressing concern at incidents of poll-relating violence, Bajwa said the efforts of the army and provincial government had averted "many acts of saboteurs".
Separatist groups have carried out a string of grenade attacks on campaign offices of different parties in Quetta and other places in Balochistan.