Target killing: Prominent Baloch intellectual shot dead

Published: June 2, 2011
Saba Dashtiari was assistant professor at University of Balochistan.

Saba Dashtiari was assistant professor at University of Balochistan.


Prominent Baloch intellectual and assistant professor at the University of Balochistan Saba Dashtiari was gunned down by unidentified assailants on Wednesday.

According to eyewitness accounts, Dashtiari, 58, was on his routine evening walk when an armed man opened fire at him from close range, resulting in instant death. “He received four bullets in his head and chest,” a hospital official said.

“After he killed Dashtiari, the man escaped with another man who was waiting for him on a motorbike,” another witness told The Express Tribune.

The incident took place in close proximity of Saryab Police Station but the assailants seemed very calm and confident and managed to escape within no time. “The assassin fired more bullets to scare away people after killing the professor,” an eyewitness said.

As many as four teachers of the University of Balochistan have been killed in the recent past. The University of Balochistan has announced three days of mourning to condemn the professor’s killing.

In recent years, Saba Dashtiari, whose real name was Ghulam Hussain, usually took part in protest rallies and demonstrations held by Baloch Students Organisation Azad, Balochistan National Front and Baloch Republican Party against disappearances and target killing of Balochs nationals.

Dashtiari taught Islamic Studies at the university and frequently travelled between Karachi and Quetta. His literary contributions include more than 24 books on Balochi literature, history, poetry and translations. He also established the Syed Zahoor Shah Hashmi reference library, Pakistan’s largest library on Balochi literature, in Malir, Karachi.

The Baloch National Front, Baloch Republican Party, Baloch Students Organisation -Azad, Baloch Unity Conference and other nationalist parties have condemned his killing, saying state functionaries were behind the murder. The parties have also announced a three-day shutter-down strike across the province.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • CP
    Jun 2, 2011 - 11:16AM

    Balochis go for your Azaadi.Recommend

  • Kazmis
    Jun 2, 2011 - 2:04PM

    It is really sad, but it is also true that Baluchis do not care about intellectual breed for their society. So many intellectual have been killed by Baluchis them self. Baluchistan has a shortage of intellectual and real qualified people in their society, on that basis AZADI is useless thing for an illiterate society and shortage of technocrat will destroy the whole social network. Baluchis can not even think of real liberation or in other words separation. If it was feasible, then Balochi leaders could achieve AZADI long before in 60 years. Just consider the fact that in last 60 years every government beat the Baluchis in the wild, but Baluchis could not achieve AZADI. Now with the help of INDIA Baluchis are trying for the same but unable to get the goal and will never be. East Pakistan was separated by Pakistan itself and not the Indian Army. Pakistan never fought with India in East Pakistan. My sincere advice is for Baluchis to live in Pakistan as Pakistanis and improve them self by Technical & Scientific education for their children. At that stage they would love to protect the intellectual from any province in Baluchistan.Recommend

  • yugal
    Jun 2, 2011 - 4:14PM

    i am totaly agree with u. but plez dont blame india 4 this. indian govt is not involved. how can u belive on musarraf he is a ultimate liarRecommend

  • Hassan Farooqi
    Jun 2, 2011 - 10:42PM

    @Kazmis. The game is much bigger than India creating trouble for Pakistan. You got to know Baloch history. Akber Bugti was 12 years old when he was made the tribal chief by the British. The British then used Bugties to crush the rebellion of the Hur Mujahids. There is still a Bugti house right in the heartland of Hur population. Bugti was an agent of West, not India. The game is to keep Chinese influence away from Gawadar and neighboring areas in Balochistan. Bugti was also the traitor whose testimony brought down the nationalist government of Mengal and Bizenjo during Bhutto era, because they were leftist parties.Recommend

  • Zain
    Jun 4, 2011 - 12:17AM

    Dear All, pleas first ready the Baloch history then make your precious comments. you people only know english and are completely blank about Balochistan. This man who embraced martyrdom was struggling for separate Balochistan….as state….. And for your kind information,,,, Balochi is language and Baloch is nation….Recommend

  • Kamran Bashir
    Jun 5, 2011 - 2:35AM

    @Kazmis you are the Thucydides of Balochistan. it would be great for us if you come and teach us Baloch History…….. first of all let me tell you, Balochi is the language we the “”””BALOCH”””” speak. 2ndly, Balochi is a language, there is NO PLURAL so BALOCHIS or BALUCHIS is neither a word nor any materialistic. so remember

    Nation: BALOCH(as spell in english) BALUCH(as pronounced)
    Location: BALOCHISTAN (BALUCHISTAN as pronounced)
    Language: Balochi or Baluchi and Brahvie

    @Hassan Farooqi i won’t comment on YOUR THEORY i would better laugh at it.

    @Zain i totally agreeRecommend

  • M S Sheikh
    Jun 6, 2011 - 3:21PM

    Stop the killings. It won’t get you anywhere. If it continues all good people will be dead and corrupt and self serving thugs will take over. Look at rest of Pakistan and learn from it.

    Get rid of the bad people by honest voting. Recommend

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