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Pak parliamentary panel asks spy agencies to not exceed authority in Balochistan

Islamabad, Thu, 01 Mar 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Mar 1(ANI): In an unexpected move aimed at soothing frayed tempers in Balochistan, a parliamentary panel has urged country's spy agencies to avoid overstepping their authority.


Baloch rebels and rights groups have long accused intelligence agencies of 'wanton killings' in the name of national security.


Security officials have always denied that spy agencies are behind forced disappearances and extra-judicial killings in Balochistan.


The usefulness of Wednesday's orders of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) are yet to be seen, as the chiefs of both spy agencies didn't turn up before the committee.


The spy chiefs were supposed to brief the committee, which met to discuss the internal security situation with a specific mention of the Balochistan unrest, said a participant.


He added that officials from the defence ministry informed the committee that the ISI and MI had asked for time to prepare a briefing for the lawmakers.


Expressing concern at the absence of the ISI and MI chiefs, the committee rejected the defense ministry's request.


A Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker, Sheikh Rohail Asghar, who didn't attend the proceedings, said that he boycotted the meeting because he knew 'the ISI and MI chiefs would not appear'


"It's a waste of time and waste of resources. It is a futile exercise. Intelligence agencies never pay heed to directions and orders issued by the committee," The Express Tribune quoted Rohail Asghar, as saying.


On the record nothing was said about the in-camera meeting, chaired by Azra Fazal Pechuho, but internal sources suggests that the director general of Intelligence Bureau (IB), Balochistan home secretary and other officials briefed the committee about the current situation in the restive province. (ANI)


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