Caretaker Balochistan Information Minister Jan Achakzai on Sunday claimed a resurgence of terrorism in recent days was the result of neighboring countries trying to “blackmail” Pakistan.
“Recent terror attacks have proved that neighboring countries are attempting to blackmail us,” he told a press conference in Quetta two days after 14 soldiers were martyred in a terrorism attack targeting a security forces’ convoy in Gwadar. Pakistan is being attacked from “both sides,” he emphasized, referring to India and Afghanistan.
“We all know that one day [before Saturday’s attack on the PAF Mianwali base] RAW [-affiliated social media] accounts were conveying advance congratulations and warning of a major incident,” he said, referring the Indian spy agency. “Seeing the sophistication [of the attack], only RAW can mastermind it,” he added. A day earlier, security forces killed nine terrorists, thwarting a major terrorist attack on the training base.
Achakzai stressed that the “strategic importance,” of the target made it “evident” that no “ordinary terrorist” could attack the airbase. He also reiterated that the terrorist attack in Zhob in August had included the involvement of six Afghan nationals. “We have repeatedly said that India is involved in the incidents of terrorism in the country, especially in the province of Balochistan,” he added.
Referring to the assassination of a Sikh separatist in Canada earlier this year, he alleged this was evidence of “India’s state terrorism” reaching Canada. “The killing of a Canadian citizen has proved that India is involved in terrorism in Pakistan as well,” he added.
There has been a significant resurgence of terrorism across Pakistan since the Afghan Taliban returned to power in Kabul in 2021. According to the Center for Research and Security Studies, 386 security forces’ personnel were martyred in the first nine months of 2023, marking an eight-year high. In a report issued in October, it said over 400 people were killed in nearly 200 terror attacks and counter-terror operation in the third quarter of 2023, with KP and Balochistan accounting for 94 percent of all fatalities and 89 percent of all attacks.