One year later, insecurity prevails among teachers and students of the University of Balochistan and questions about the killing of Assistant Professor Nazima Talib are avoided.
Talib, 54, was the first woman educationist in Balochistan to fall victim to a target killing on April 27, 2010. However, no arrangements were made at the university to observe her first death anniversary.
So far, no progress has been made in the investigations of her killing. Banned outfit Baloch Liberation Army had claimed responsibility for the attack in response to the killing of a Baloch woman in the Saryab area of Quetta.
“I do not want to comment on this sensitive issue,” said one of her students. However, students did hold a fateha for the slain professor.
Teachers also refused to comment over the killing. “People are ruthlessly being killed. Everyone is insecure and mentally disturbed in this province. Under such circumstances, why would one endanger his or her life?” said a senior lecturer. “It is better to observe silence,” he said.
President of Academic Staff Association Balochistan University Kalimullah Barech said there was no progress in any of the murders.
“We, the teachers, are left at the mercy of God,” said Kalimullah. “Many teachers have left the university out of fear. There is no improvement and the situation has gone from bad to worse.”
Talib’s death was the university’s third loss of a teacher to an incident of target killing. In 2008, Pro-Vice Chancellor of University of Balochistan Dr Safdar Kayani was shot dead, and Chairperson of Library and Sciences Assist Professor Khurshed Ansari was gunned down in 2009. From 2008 to 2010, as many as 14 teachers have been killed in incidents of target killings.
Meanwhile, a complete shutter down strike was observed in Khuzdar, Kech and adjoining towns for the second consecutive day on Wednesday to condemn the recovery of five bullet-riddled bodies of Baloch missing persons. The strike call was made by the Baloch National Front (BNF) and Baloch Republican Party.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 28th, 2011.