Afghanistan has closed down camps run by Baloch nationalist groups where some 5,000 people were being trained, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik has claimed.
The minister said that the camps had been shut down by the Afghan President Hamid Karzai on requests by the the Pakistan government.
“Karzai acted after Pakistan requested him to stop the activities of the Baloch nationalist groups and the Afghan President had admitted that some of the troubles in Balochistan province were originating from his country,” Mr. Malik contended.
“After we approached the President of Afghanistan with facts and figures, he was kind enough to look into the matter by promising to stop infiltration of miscreants from his side of the border,” Mr. Malik said during an interaction with reporters at the National Press Club on Sunday.
“There were training camps for 5,000 people in Kandahar but they have been dismantled and their operators have moved out of the area,” he said.
The camps were being run while Baloch nationalist leader Brahamdagh Bugti was present in Kabul, he added.
During a recent visit to Islamabad, Mr. Karzai was informed about the infiltration of militants into Balochistan, Mr. Malik said.
“President Karzai had promised to stop the infiltration from Kandahar into Balochistan,” he added.
Afghanistan had formally given an assurance that the infiltration of militants into the Pakistan border town of Chaman would be stopped.
The Afghan government had promised that insurgents would not be allowed to operate in Pakistan from Afghanistan, he said.
“We are monitoring the situation and those playing into the hands of foreign forces to destabilise the country will not be spared,” Mr. Malik said.
At the same time, the government is creating an environment conducive to talks and Baloch leaders who show “respect for the national flag” would be welcomed if they returned to Pakistan, he said.
“If these people want their rights as Pakistani nationals, they will definitely get them,” he said, blaming Brahamdagh Bugti for the deteriorating situation in Balochistan.
Pakistan had requested Mr. Karzai to deport Mr. Bugti, after which he left Afghanistan, Mr. Malik claimed. After Mr. Bugti’s departure from Kabul, the situation in Balochistan was under control, he further claimed.
A total of 135 cases had been registered against Baloch nationalists and a number of them were withdrawn when a special development package for Balochistan was launched.
The process of closing the remaining cases is underway.
The Interior Ministry has written a letter to the Balochistan Chief Secretary to withdraw “politically motivated cases”, Mr. Malik said.
“However, cases filed by private citizens and families of a deceased will have to be settled in court,” he said.
Mr. Malik contended that the phenomenon of “missing persons” -- or Baloch activists detained without charge -- was a serious issue but had been blown out of proportion.
While 6,000 people had been reported as “missing” initially, the Balochistan Chief Minister’s office has now estimated that only 800 were missing, he claimed.
Two judicial commissions were investigating this issue, Mr. Malik said.