QUETTA: Caretaker Balochistan Chief Minister Alauddin Marri has said that the province is in “hot pursuit” of the terrorists who orchestrated the suicide attack on Balochistan Awami Party’s (BAP) corner meeting in Mastung on Friday which claimed the lives of 149 people.
“The enemy has attacked innocent people from the back, resulting in a huge loss of lives,” said the caretaker chief minister while addressing a press conference late on Saturday night soon after chairing an urgent meeting of the provincial cabinet.
Marri said, “It was the biggest terrorist attack in Balochistan so far.”
He said the cabinet approved Rs1.5 million compensation for the martyrs, while the critically injured would be paid Rs500,000 and the ones with minor injuries Rs200,000.
“The compensation is not an alternative to the human lives lost,” said CM Marri, adding that the package he announced was not enough to compensate for the lives lost in the suicide attack.
He also said that he would consult the finance department for increasing the compensation amount.
The chief minister said, “Today, Balochistan is bleeding as the heirs of the suicide victims are still collecting bodies of their loved ones from different hospitals.”
He said, “Mastung Carnage is a great tragedy felt by the people of the entire province.”
He informed the media that the entire caretaker government and administration worked till late night on Friday and Saturday to collect the data of victims of the suicide bombing and for providing medical treatment to the injured.
“We have not enough hospitals to deal with such a huge incident that claimed scores of human lives,” he said, adding that all doctors and medical staff were present at all government hospitals and were providing best treatment to the injured.
He said that the government was sending the critically injured to Aga Khan Hospital in Karachi while other provincial governments had also offered to help in the treatment of the injured persons.
Marri confirmed the death toll at 149, including nine minors, and said that most of the 186 injured were being treated at the government hospitals in Quetta and Mastung.
“We are collecting data of the people martyred in the suicide attack,” he added.
The number of deaths could increase as many people had taken the injured of the suicide attack to their villages, he said, adding that they were not brought to the hospital.
To a question, he said that it was not the failure of the provincial government nor the security forces as the organisers of the corner meeting had not informed the administration beforehand.
He said that government was fulfilling its responsibility of providing security to every election candidate. “They should follow the rules announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan,” he added.
To another question, the caretaker CM said, “Investigation is underway.” However, he did not disclose the details of the investigation done so far.