RAWALPINDI: Balochistan "is in sharp focus" of Pakistan's enemies due to the province's "strategic potential", Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa said, according to a statement released Wednesday by the military's spokesperson.
In his statement, Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar, director-general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), quoted Gen Bajwa as saying: "Balochistan is the future of Pakistan and progress and prosperity of the province is the progress of the country.
"The disruptive efforts by hostile forces won't be allowed to succeed," the COAS emphasised in his address to the garrison officers, whom he lauded for their preparedness and efforts in ensuring peace and stability in the province despite difficulties of terrain and distances involved.
"Security, stability, and prosperity of Balochistan shall be pursued and ensured to the hilt," he added.
According to Maj Gen Iftikhar, Gen Bajwa "was apprised about prevailing security challenges in the province and the measures taken, including border management along Pakistan-Afghan and Pakistan-Iran Border" at the HQ Southern Command.
He was received by Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali on arrival in Quetta.
During his day-long visit, Gen Bajwa also met the families of the Machh massacre victims and interacted with a large gathering of the Hazara community. He was also given a detailed security brief at the HQ Southern Command.
"The COAS also spent time with the bereaved families of Machh incident victims and shared their grief. [Gen Bajwa] assured them that perpetrators of this heinous incident shall be brought to justice and blood of the martyrs will not go waste," the DG ISPR said.