No new cantonments in Balochistan, says Kayani (Lead)

April 19th, 2011 - 3:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, April 19 (IANS) A proposal to set up four new military cantonments in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province has been dropped as “people don’t want” it, said army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

General Kayani announced Monday that the responsibility of providing security to the restive town of Sui in Dera Bugti district was being given to Frontier Corps, reported the Dawn Tuesday.

He said the army in Sui would return to the Quetta cantonment and there would be no more army presence in the province outside of the cantonments.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the the new military college in Sui, the general said: “We have converted the Sui cantonment to a military college and dropped the idea of establishing four new military cantonments in Balochistan because people don’t want these. New cantonments will be built only when the people of the province wish for (them).”

He said the decision was aimed at making people realise that the army respected their opinion as it was a national institution.

He said a separate wing of the Frontier Corps would replace the army in Sui.

A statement quoted Kayani as emphasising “the vital requirement of unified national support to the armed forces, without which no force can fulfil the mission of defending a state/nation”.

He said the army would establish an Army Medical College, an Institute of Mineralogy and a Cardiac Treatment Centre in Quetta to equip Baloch youths with higher education in relevant fields.

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