Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa on Thursday took suo motu notice of the Ganjidori incident in which 26 Shia pilgrims were killed in an attack on a passenger bus on September 20. The hearing will begin on September 26.
The chief justice took note of the incident following appeals from civil society members after reports on the incident were published in local and national media. The passengers were forced to disembark the bus and were shot dead in cold blood. The court observed that the incident has spread terror among the people of Balochistan and traumatised a segment of society.
The court has issued notices to the government of Balochistan through secretary home and tribal affairs, and the federal government through the interior secretary, provincial police chief, inspector general Frontier Corps, commissioner Kalat division, deputy commissioner Kalat and director general Levies.
Meanwhile, the Balochistan government has decided to form a wing of the Anti Terrorism Force (ATF) exclusively to provide security cover to the Hazara community in Quetta.
The decision was taken following the targeted killing of 26 pilgrims in Mastung. Anti-Terrorism Force (ATF) personnel and police with anti-terrorism training will be recruited for the wing.
Hazara Town and Marriabad are two Hazara populated townships in the provincial capital where the government has decided to deploy the special force. “It has been observed that the Hazara community is being subjected to targeted killings and bomb blasts, thus the government has decided to provide them adequate security,” said Balochistan Home Secretary Naseebullah Bazai.
“Private transporters who provide transportation to pilgrims from Quetta to Iran had already been directed to get themselves registered with the provincial home department. The law already exists at the federal level by which transporters must first inform the government if they provide transportation to pilgrims.”
Shia Muslims usually travel from Quetta to Iran through private transport companies and mostly without any security cover. “It is unfortunate that the killings have intensified. Therefore, the government is compelled to adopt strict security measures,” Bazai added.
Another decision under consideration was to deploy personnel of Federal Levies along the borders of Afghanistan and Iran. “There are 3,000 personnel of Federal Levies and they will be posted along the borders and highways as we cannot deny the fact that cross border activities have caused much damage to peace in the province,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2011.