QUETTA: Alarmed by increasing sectarian attacks on Shia pilgrims heading to Iran from Balochistan, the provincial government is said to have banned further pilgrimages.
Sources said that the home department recently directed the deputy commissioner(s) to stop issuing NOCs for such pilgrimages, while transporters are reported to be at a loss of losing the lucrative Quetta-Taftan route. Provincial Home Secretary Naseebullah Bazai, however, rejected the reports of ban on pilgrimages.
He claimed that NOCs banning pilgrimages were temporary, which were aimed at gaining time for making foolproof security measures.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2012.
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