We need to restore peace in Quetta, says Sharif

Islamabad, July 3 (IANS) It is time peace is restored in Quetta, capital of Pakistan's restive Balochistan province, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in remarks published Wednesday.

Newspapers quoted him as ordering the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to also arrest terrorists active in that city.

Speaking after a high-level security meeting in Quetta, Sharif said he wanted all official agencies to cooperate with authorities in Balochistan to bring peace in Quetta.

"Establishing peace in a city of 20 streets and 20 markets shouldn't be so difficult," the media quoted him as saying.

"From Gwadar to Khyber, we will improve the situation of the country," he added.

Sharif's visit to Quetta took place two days after a suicide attack claimed 30 lives in the Hazara neighbourhood. The area has seen a series of terrorist acts since January.

The prime minister was accompanied by Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan and ISI chief Zaheerul Islam.

Sharif said he would ensure that the best police officers were appointed in Balochistan.

Many activists in Balochistan have gone missing in mysterious circumstances. Most of them are government critics including those said to be aligned to insurgents.

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