Pakistan Army units last week moved into Baluchistan, Pakistan's mountainous north-western province to quell guerrilla activities in the area.
AIR V. Rugged mountain terrain in Baluchistan (2 shots)
GV PAN from village of Maiwand to village
GV Army helicopters arriving and landing with local tribesmen looking on (4 shots)
GV Villagers queueing
GV Food being unloaded from helicopters and onto lorry (3 shots)
GV PAN Villagers questioned by troops
CU Soldier examining captured weapons (2 shots)
SV Children waiting for food
SV Man issuing flour to villagers
SV Villagers leaving
GV Mountains outside village with troops guarding pass (3 shots)
LV Troops along ridge on mountain patrol
Initials ES. 1533 ES. 1600
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Background: Pakistan Army units last week moved into Baluchistan, Pakistan's mountainous north-western province to quell guerrilla activities in the area.
Eight local militiamen have been killed near Sibi about 50 miles (80 kms) from the provincial capital by guerrillas of the Marria and Mengal tribes. Railway tracks have also been blocked, trains and buses fired on, and telephone exchanges burned.
The Provincial Government has said the guerrilla activities are aimed at setting up a separate state for Baluchistan. It has blamed tow former leaders of the provincial government, Mr. Atuallah Mengal, Chief Minister until his removal in February this year, and Khair Baksh Marri, a member of the national and provincial assemblies, for the guerrilla operations.
There has been an upsurge in activities against the Government since the induction into office of what are held to be minority groups in Baluchistan. The reason given for the removal of Mr. Mengal's Government was their "consistent flouting of Federal directives".
On Sunday (May 27), Pakistan's Foreign Minister Mr. Aziz Ahmed speaking in a National Assembly debate, said that Pakistan troops sent into Baluchistan last week to quell disorders, had not fired a single shot. It was simply a case he said, of Federal forces going to the aid of the provincial government to combat the activities of certain criminals.
In an earlier debate on the situation last Friday (May 25) an Opposition Assembly member from Baluchistan denied that there was a secessionist movement in the province.
He said the people of Baluchistan had nowhere to go except Pakistan and there was no reason or excuse for them to embark on a secessionist course. They were being persecuted because they stood for democracy and would not let their rights be trampled on by anyone.
Life is now reported top be back to normal in the area and the authorities are arranging medical relief and better water and food supplies. The Army has also begun surveying a route for the construction of a shingle road to open up some of Pakistan's most rugged and difficult terrain.
Baluchistan covers nearly half of Pakistan, but has only two million of Pakistan's 56-million population.
SYNOPSIS: Units of the Pakistan Army have been sent into action in Baluchistan to quell the disorder by local tribesmen. The Provincial Government which asked for army help say the guerrillas aim to set up a separate state of Baluchistan. They have blamed two former leaders of the provincial government, including Mr. Atallah Mengal, ex-Chief Minister, for the guerrilla operations.
The disorders have cut food supplies to the area and the Army have been bringing in food by helicopters to this remote village of Maiwand, for distribution by lorry.
Mr. Mengal's Government and the Provincial Governor were dismissed in February because it was alleged they had consistently flouted directives of the Federal Government.
There has been an upsurge in anti-Government activities since what are held to be minority groups came to power in the Baluchistan Assembly. But Pakistan's Foreign Minster Mr. Aziz Ahmed says the troops in Baluchistan have not fired a single shot and that calm has been restored in the troubled areas.
The authorities are now arranging medical relied and better water and food supplies for the area. They have also begun surveying a route for the building of a shingle road to open up some of Pakistan's most remote and inaccessible territory.
Baluchistan covers nearly half of Pakistan but has a population of only two million people -- and maintaining law and order is a difficult task.