Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced Wednesday that all assets of militant outfits in Balochistan province would be frozen as the government 'has come to its wits' end'.
"We are going to launch targeted action against these elements," Malik said at a press conference in Quetta.
He said six separatist militant groups have been banned in the province including Baloch Liberation Army, Baloch Republican Army, Baloch Liberation Front, Baloch United Liberation Front, Baloch Armed Defence Organisation, and Lashkar Balochistan.
Balochistan has been affected by insurgency for over a decade now and militants have been particularly targeting the non-Baloch population. Recently, passengers were ordered to disembark from a bus coming from Lahore and 17 of them were killed because their identity cards were from Punjab.
The interior minister accused Afghanistan of providing shelter to terrorists wanted by Pakistan.
"Foreign elements are trying to take advantage of the unrest in Balochistan. We have to take action to bring normalcy back to the province and end the state of fear prevalent in the minds of the people,' he said.
"We have given powers to police and the Frontier Corps at the discretion of the chief minister," Malik said, adding that no further negotiations would be held with anti-state elements.
"It is time to act now and we'll follow them all the way to get rid of this problem once and forever," he stressed.
"Terrorists are killing our children and we can't show any leniency towards them," Malik said.
He, however, clarified that the nature of action would be different from the one in Swat and Malakand region, because authorities 'can identify the trouble-makers'.
"Balochistan is a very essential part of Pakistan, everybody owns this", Malik said adding that consensus on NFC Award and Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan were the measures which clearly spoke of the federal government's sincerity in resolving the issue of Balochistan.
He said that the government removed checkposts of the Frontier Corps on the demand of the people but it yielded no positive results and an increase in incidents of target killings and other crimes was observed. I have not come here to restore those checkposts, this time the government has changed its strategy and the action taken by the government would speak loudly.
To a question, the minister said that he had never talked about imposing restrictions on religious procession but had appealed to the scholars to change the procedure and restrict the procession either to walled-premises or shorten its travelling route.
"It is our duty to provide security to people but the police can't provide security to every individual especially when a procession is long and its travelling route is in kilometres.
He said that he would convene a meeting of the scholars after Eid and would appeal to them to review the procedure and come up with a plan which could help secure the worshippers against any threat.
Provincial Home Minster Mir Zaffarullah Zehri, Home Secretary Akbar Durrani and other senior officials were also present on the occasion.