Pak Army will support efforts to resolve Balochistan unrest: Kayani

      Pakistan's Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has said the military would support any political process to resolve the unrest in Balochistan provided that it is within the constitutional framework. Kayani dispelled the impression that the security establishment is, in any way, a hurdle in the resolution of Balochistan's problems. The Express Tribune quoted him, as saying: "The army supports any political process in the province as long as it is within the Constitution of Pakistan."

According to a military official, the recent criticism of the army by some political leaders compelled Kayani to issue the policy statement on Balochistan. The security establishment recently came under attack during a gripping court hearing on the law and order situation in Balochistan, where former chief minister Sardar Akhtar Mengal made an appearance in the Supreme Court. Mengal presented a six-point charter, calling for an immediate end to all "covert and overt military operations" in Balochistan, a fair court trial of all missing persons, and an end to all "death squads" allegedly operating under the supervision of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Military Intelligence (MI).

The military authorities, however, denied allegations and insisted that it was in favour of political steps leading to a solution of the Balochistan imbroglio. Referring to Kayani's statement, the official said though the army supports a political process, it had reservations on certain issues. "The demand for international arbitration on Balochistan and portraying the issue as if it is between two states is not acceptable," the official said, adding that no overt and covert military operations were underway in any part of Balochistan, and called it a "mere propaganda". He said the Frontier Corps has presence in Balochistan but it was under the control of the federal interior ministry, not the army.

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