Complete strike in Quetta against Mastung killings
15 September, 2012
QUETTA: A complete strike was observed in the provincial capital on Friday against the targeted killing of 10 labourers in the Dasht area of district Mastung on Thursday.
The incident has intensified tensions in an already volatile province ahead of a visit by a UN working group.
The killings of the Pashtun labourers were condemned throughout the province by main political parties and were regarded as a conspiracy to push the province into a civil war.
A strike call was given by Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Awami National Party (ANP), Jamat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Samiul Haq and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, and was supported by trade unions in Quetta.
Business centres remained closed and commercial activities suspended across the city, especially on Jinnah Road, Abdul Sattar Road, Kasi Road, Prince Road, Masjid Road, Brewery Road, Mission Road, McChangi Road, Liaquat Bazaar, Fatima Jinnah Road, Suraj Ganj Bazaar, Joint Road, Alamdar Road, Satellite Town, Zarghoon Road, Saryab Road and surrounding areas. Moreover, traffic was also thin on the roads as people preferred to stay in – a tacit support to the strike call. The routine life in the provincial capital remained suspended.
The city administration had taken stringent measures to maintain the law and order situation. Heavy contingents of the law enforcement agencies, personnel of Frontier Corps (FC), police, Balochistan Constabulary and Anti-Terrorism Force (ATF) were deployed on various roads of the city to avoid any untoward incident. However, the day passed relatively calmly and no unpleasant incident was reported from any part of the city.
Dasht killings conspiracy against Baloch: Bugti
Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) President Nawabzada Talal Bugti on Friday condemned the Dasht killings as a conspiracy against the Baloch and said that Baloch enemies were involved in the murder of innocent labourers.
Addressing a press conference at the Bugti House, he said the missing persons' case had deteriorated. "It is hoped that the UN working group would act as a bridge in this regard and present a positive report in the general council, which would result in hampering the killings and lawlessness in Balochistan," Bugti said.
He further said that if the working group of the UN could not succeed in presenting the ground realities before the world, JWP would consider the UN giving consent for killing Baloch. He demanded the UN working group not to compile its report while sitting in five-star hotels but instead reach out and meet the relatives of the missing persons so that the facts could be ascertained authentically.
Bugti said the law and order situation had worsened throughout the country but was specifically visible in Balochistan. He warned the rulers to mend their ways before the situation slipped out of control. He said the army's role was laudable, however, General (r) Pervez Musharraf, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) former DG Nadeem Taj and FC IG had tarnished its reputation.
He demanded the army chief to depose Balochistan FC IG and court-martial him, saying he had a hand in the deterioration of law and order in Balochistan after Musharraf left. He alleged that the FC IG had gone to Naseerabad and Dera Bugti not to provide assistance to the flood victims but rather to kill them. He demanded that a genuine leadership be given a chance in the next general elections.