No let-up in violence: Governor fears Balochistan sliding into civil war

Published: April 14, 2012

Protesters shout slogans during a rally in Quetta, against the killing of Hazara community members. Rallies were staged across the country against sectarian violence. PHOTO: AFP

QUETTA: 

Incensed by the alarming rise in incidents of targeted killings, Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Ali Magsi has said that if the security situation does not improve, a civil war may break out in the restive province.

“I don’t know what the government is doing? The situation is slipping out of control. Target killings are happening on a daily basis despite the presence of paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC), Balochistan Constabulary and police,” a visibly upset governor said during a meeting with a delegation of the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP).

“We will be compelled to call out Pakistan Army and FC in Quetta, if the government does not check incidents of target killings,” he said.

In recent months, there has been an alarming surge in target killings of ethnic Hazaras, who are Shias by sect, in Balochistan, Quetta in particular.

The HDP delegation met with Governor Magsi following a protest sit-in by Hazara community members outside the Governor House and Chief Minister Secretariat.

The delegation lodged a protest with the governor over targeted killings of Hazaras in Balochistan. The governor assured the delegation that he would take up the matter with Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani.

He also directed the authorities to launch an effective crackdown against the groups stoking sectarian violence in the province. “We have a huge cabinet and almost all provincial legislators are ministers – but they are least interested in maintaining law and order,” he added.

Earlier, hundreds of HDP activists staged a rally. They marched on different roads and thoroughfares of the city, chanting slogans against the government and law enforcers for their “failure to check target killings of the Hazaras”. Enraged protesters removed barricades erected by law enforcers on Zarghoon Road and entered the high security zone where they staged a sit-in outside the Governor House and Chief Minister Secretariat.

Meanwhile, targeted killings of the Hazaras continued unabated in Quetta as another member of the community was shot dead soon after Friday prayers.

The victim, Muhammad Ali Hazara, a watchman by profession, was shot dead by gunmen outside a shop on Abdul Sattar Road. With the latest killing the number of Hazaras killed over the last 24 hours has risen to four. Six Hazaras were targeted on Monday last.

The latest killing whipped up panic in different neighbourhoods of the city, including Liaquat Bazaar, Prince Road, Mezan Chowk and Jinnah Road where shopping centres, markets and eateries were closed. However, contingents of police and FC reached the spot to restore order.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2012.

Reader Comments (4)

  • Alam
    Apr 14, 2012 - 1:00PM

    There is no root in Balochistan but for the Punjabi imperial policies. The provincial government is absolutely helpless as Magsi so many times clearly said “ the power is not in my hands and my government failed”. He recently threatened g of a civil war in the province, yet Pakistan is using her outdated lies. The nationalists are targeted and gunned down one after the other, and Mr. Pakistan wonder how they are not in the current corrupted government, which Iftkhar Chodrey himself acknowledged that many of its minsters are involved in the kidnaping cases. The Baloch constitute a nation wither Iran and Pakistan acknowledge it or not, and their state is de facto occupied by them. There was no referendum to join either of them. Pakistan is interfering in others affaire sheltering terrorists who attacked India and Afghanistan, and speaking of Syria and Israel human right violations, but when it comes to the poor Baloch nation which suffers under its occupation it is an “internal issue”. Will aren’t we all aware of this hypocrisy and that company called ‘the Army” which is running this gangster business called “Pakistan”. Salutes to all the free thinkers.

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  • Cautious
    Apr 14, 2012 - 4:26PM

    Perhaps it’s time for the UN to intervene — the World grows tired of the targeted killings and “missing persons”. Your vaunted sovereignty doesn’t give you the right to abuse on this scale. Even your SC knows your own govt is behind these killings otherwise explain why they think their families deserve compensation.

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  • Ali Moula........
    Apr 15, 2012 - 8:25AM

    this HDP agents makes us alone in all world because of writing just Hazara Killing…….. pure agents…………..

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  • khan of quetta
    Apr 16, 2012 - 3:08PM

    @Cautious:
    first they should intervene in kashmir and i am from quetta and from a military family and i am a pakistani go back to your dharavi dalkhor

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