Even as the stand-off between the government and the judiciary continues over the flagrant abuse of rights in Balochistan, four people were killed in sectarian violence on Tuesday.
Three members of the Hazara community were gunned down while two others sustained injuries when assailants on a motorcycle opened fire on a yellow taxi cab on Spinny Road in the provincial capital on Tuesday.
The victims were on their way to Hazara Town when the cab they were travelling in was attacked. Three people died on the spot, while the injured were rushed to Bolan Medical College Teaching Hospital, DIG Police Hamid Shakeel told The Express Tribune.
“The attackers were wearing masks to hide their identities,” said Jamaluddin, a constable at the Saddar police station.
The deceased were identified as Mohammad Zaman, Rehman Ali and Mohammad Essa.
Law enforcement agencies said heavy contingents of the police and Frontier Corps rushed to the scene and cordoned off the area to prevent any ensuing violence. However, a pedestrian lost his life in another part of the city when angry protesters fired gun shots in retaliation.
A large number of persons belonging to the Hazara community burnt tyres on Brewery Road and blocked incoming traffic. Some angry protesters also donning masks opened indiscriminate fire.
As a result, two men were injured. One of the casualties, identified as a member of the Tareen tribe of Pakhtuns, succumbed to his wounds on the way to hospital.
Shaista Khan’s death triggered a domino effect when Tareen tribesmen blocked Jinnah Road in protest.
The Hazara Democratic Party condemned the murder of its community members.
While banned militant outfits often claim responsibility for such sectarian killings, no group had done so till the filing of this report.
The Supreme Court has repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction over the law and order situation of Balochistan, blaming the provincial government for its ‘failure’.
The federal government, however, sees the court’s interest as an infringement of the president and parliament’s mandate. In its written reply submitted to the apex court last week, the government blamed insurgent elements for the prevailing lawlessness.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2012.