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Bloodbath: Chronological Timeline of Balochistan’s Major Terror Incidents

Balochistan, one of the four provinces of Pakistan, located in the southwestern region of the country is a hotspot for violent activities involving terrorist groups and security personnel

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Women in Balochistan. Wikimedia
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November 17, 2016: Terrorists have slaughtered more than 30 citizens of the Khuzdar district of Balochistan which has already been struck by violence over linguistic and sectarian differences for over 200 times within the last 15 years in Pakistan. These attacks were probably in retaliation for the murder of Saqib alias Arif, a Tehrik-e-Taliban terrorist by the Sindh Rangers in Hub. This incident occurred the day after the assassination of Arif and hours before the inauguration of the Gwadar port  by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and  Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and some eminent Chinese guests.

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This attack was probably in retaliation for the murder of Saqib alias Arif, a Tehrik-e-Taliban terrorist by the Sindh Rangers in Hub. It was after the assassination of Arif and hours before the inauguration of the Gwadar port  by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and some eminent Chinese guests.

Saqib alias Arif was accused of many terror attacks, such as the trap set up for former Karachi corps commander, Gen Ahsan Saleem’s conveyance , suicide and murder attacks on Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman and Bilal Sheikh respectively.

Terrorism in this southwestern region of Pakistan is prevalent and has robbed families and individuals of their lives. People from various sects have given up their lives since a long time. These victims do not include the civilians but also many government officials, minorities, judges, police.

The following lists the occurrences of major terrorist incidents in Balochistan, this year:

  • October 24, 2016: Militants stormed a police training centre in Quetta and killed at least 60 cadets.
  • August 8, 2016: Bilal Anwar Kasi , the president of Balochistan Bar Association was shot dead by a gunman. People gathered at the hospital in Quetta after his body was brought in. Later, the hospital was attacked and over 70 to 95 people were killed including a large number of lawyers.
  • June 16, 2016: The Counter Terrorism Department with the assistance of the intelligence agencies apprehended Khaliq Dad, a commander of a forbidden outfit in Quetta. Khaliq, who was captured in Nawakali, is said to be the brains behind many terrorist activities.

At least five supposed terrorists were killed by armed security forces around Quetta on June 14, 2016.

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Sarfraz Bugti, Balochistan’s Home Minister declared the arrest of an Indian navy officer serving his country’s intelligence organization, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) on 24 March 2016.

While making this statement, Bugti revealed that the RAW officer, Kalbhushan Yadav was captured three days prior and was in touch with Baloch separatists and other religious bodies.

  • February 16, 2016: A suicide bombing killed at least 10 people after smashing into a patrolling vehicle of the Frontier Corps in Quetta.
  • January 13, 2016: an explosion near a Quetta polio center killed at least 15 people and left several others injured.

The following is a chronology of some heinous incidents since 2003 up to 2015 that hit Balochistan.

2003:

  • June 8: Around 11 police trainees belonging to the Hazara Shia sect were killed in a sectarian strike at Quetta’s Sariab Road.
  • July 4: Another attack on a Shia mosque killed around 50 people in Quetta.

2004:

  • March 2: A Shia procession was attacked and nearly 45 people were killed.
  • May 3: A car bomb claimed the lives of three Chinese engineers in Gwadar and on August 2, the then Prime Minister of Balochistan, Jam Yousaf escaped an attack on his convoy.
  • December 10: The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) killed at leat 10 people in an explosion in a Quetta market.

2005:

  • March 19: Over 35 were killed at the shrine of Pir Rakhel Shah in Jhal Magsi when a suicide bomber targeted a crowd of Shia and Deobandi devotees.

2006:

  • February 5: A Lahore-bound bus from Quetta exploded in Bolan district killing 13 people.
  • March 10: 30 people were killed after a bus triggered a landmine in Dera Bugti.

Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed in a crossfire between the tribal militants and the government forces in Balochistan. At least 5 soldiers and 30 militants lost their lives too.

  • August 26-31: Bugti’s death caused riots which left scores of people arrested and injured in just five days.

2007:

  • February 17: A suicide bombing in a Quetta court killed 15 people including the judge.
  • July 19: An attack targeted at Chinese workers killed around 26 people at Hub in the Lasbela district.
  • July 27: Raziq Bugti, a spokesperson for the Balochistan government who was a former guerrilla commander was killed in Quetta.

2009:

  • January 26: Lashkar-e-Jhangvi allegedly shot the chairman of the Hazara Democratic Party, Hussain Ali Yousafi
  • August 4: Baloch separatists killed 4 policemen and held 21 hostages and demanded the withdrawal of the paramilitary troops and the release of the government’s detainees.
  • October 25: The Punjab-born Balochistan Education Minister and a local PPP loyal, Shafiq Ahmed Khan, was killed in Quetta.
  • November 17: A blast in Quetta seriously wounded the DIG Nizam Shahid Durrani.

2010:

  • April 16: at least 10 were killed in a suicide bombing at a hospital in Quetta.
  • July 14: Habib Jalib, a former senator and nationalist leader of the Balochistan National Party in Quetta was assassinated by unidentified gunmen.
  • August 14: At least 10 people were killed in militant attacks in Balochistan.
  • September 3: An alleged suicide bombing killed 75 in a Shia rally at Quetta’s Meezan Chowk.
  • November 30: The convoy of Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi, the then Balochistan governor was attacked in Mungichar but Magsi managed to escape.
  • December 7: An unsuccessful attempt at the assassination of the then Balochistan Chief Minister, Asla Raisani by a suicide bomber killed around two people.

2011:

  • April 26: Four men riding on motorcycles open fired on a bus, then splashed petrol on the bus and set it ablaze, incinerating the people inside the bus.
  • June 16: Unidentified men on a motorcycle shoot the Olympian, Abrar Hussain dead outside his office near Quetta’s Ayub National Stadium.
  • August 31: A bombing outside a mosque in Quetta on Eid-ul-Fitr killed a dozen Shia Muslims.
  • September 7: At least 26 people died in two explosions in Quetta.
  • September 20: At least 26 Shia Muslims were killed when armed militants attacked their bus heading towards Taftan.
  • November 21: BLA attacked a Frontier Corps convoy near Musa Khel and killed at least 14 soldiers.
  • December 29: Two attackers fired on the vehicle of Dr. Syed Baqir Shah a police surgeon in Quetta who was a key witness in the controversial Kharotabad incident. Dr. Shah had performed the autopsies of five foreigners, two of them were women. They were shot by security personnel in Kharotabad on May 2011.
  • December 20: A suicide bombing by BLA killed 13 people in Quetta.

2012:

  • January 12: The Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) assailants ambushed paramilitary troops around Turbat and killed 14 soldiers.
  • June 7: A remote-controlled bomb exploded to kill 15 outside a madrasa in Quetta.
  • June 18: Dozens were killed when a bus transporting Shias was bombed in Quetta.
  • June 28: A suicide attacker killed around 14 people after targeting a bus of Hazara Shias in Quetta.
  • July 6: Around 18 Shia pilgrims were killed while traveling to Iran in Turbat.
  • July 8: A landmine blast in Chaman killed at least 14 people.
  • August 27: Eight people were killed when gunmen attacked two buses in Balochistan on the same day as three Shias were shot down in Quetta.
  • August 30: Zulfiqar Naqvi, a Shia session’s judge was gunned down along with his driver and a police bodyguard at Munir Mengal Road in Quetta.
  • October 12: A bomb explosion near a restaurant on Nishtar Road in Sibi killed a dozen people. Three security personnel died when their vehicle hit a landmine.
  • November 2: Unidentified gunmen open fired at a bus in Khuzdar and killed 18 people.
  • November 6: An eminent Shia leader, Agha Aftab Haider Zafri was shot dead in Quetta. On the same day, four people were shot in different incidents in Quetta out of which three were Shias.

2013:

  • January 10: Two bomb blasts killed at least 105 people on Alamdar Road in Quetta. Many of the casualties were caused when the media and security personnel were arriving at the scene after the first blast. The area bombed was a Shia locality.
  • February 16: At least 92 people were killed in a sectarian suicide attack at a Quetta market targeting the Shias primarily.
  • March 22: A motorcycle-rickshaw exploded in a Dehra Allahyar town market killing at least 10 people.
  • April 16: At least four people were killed in Khuzdar district including the son, nephew and brother of Sanaullah Zehri, the provincial chief of the PML-N and the current Chief Minister of the province.
  • May 11: An attack on the convoy of an election candidate on the polling day in Naseerabad killed at least 15 people.
  • May 12: A suicide attack was attempted on the then Balochistan IGP and current Punjab Police Chief , Mushtaq Sukhera in the high-security zone On Quetta’s Zarghoon Road. Although, he narrowly escaped around seven others lost their lives. Two days before this incident, assailants blew up Quaid-e-Azam’s residency in Ziarat and attacked a bus of female students from a Quetta medical college.
  • June 15: At least 25 people were killed as a bomb ripped a bus apart, succeeded by a suicide attack and a gun battle at the Bola Medical College Hospital where the injured victims were admitted for treatment. The victims in the bus included the deputy commissioner of Quetta, Mansoor Kakar, 14 students of Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University and four nurses. Assistant commissioner Anwar Ali along with two other police officials had suffered bullet wounds.
  • August 18: DIG Fayyaz Sumbal and DSP Shamsur Rehman, were fatally attacked by terrorists in Balochistan’s capital but they managed to dodge death. the then CCPO Quetta Mir Zubair was also accompanying IGP Mushtaq Sukhera.The suicide attacker was actually targeting  funeral being held for a police official in Quetta.  As a result, around 40 were killed.
  • September 18: SP Sariab Basheer Ahmed Barohi survived an attempt on his life after his official vehicle was fired at by anonymous gunmen.

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2014:

  • January 21: A bomb explosion on a bus killed 21 Shia pilgrims.
  • June 8: A bus carrying Shia pilgrims from Iran to Quetta was attacked and at least 24 people were killed.
  • June 14: Handery Masih, a minority member of the Balochistan Assembly was assassinated by his own guard in Quetta
  • June 20: Sakhi Sultan, an environmental judge was gunned down in the Jinnah Town are of Quetta.
  • August 15: At least 13 militants tried to attack two Pakistan Air Force bases in Quetta, Samungli and Khalid, The security officials foiled the attack and a dozen militants were killed.
  • November: An explosion killed one and injured 20 while targeting ATC judge Nazeer Ahmed Langov in Quetta.

2015:

  • April 11: 20 laborers were gunned down in Turbat by militants.
  • May 29: Assailants clad in uniforms of security personnel gunned down 22 bus passengers in Mastung.
  • October 19: A bomb explosion in a bus in Quetta killed 11 and injured 22 people.

– by Shivam Thaker of NewsGram. Twitter: @Shivam_Thaker

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Brutal media, the beloved minority, and the tortured majority

The media has changed its sphere of projecting people who are national and the anti-national elements are tragically boasted for their deeds

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This glaring aberration in the world of media is visible as clearly as stars in the darkness of the night.
This glaring aberration in the world of media is visible as clearly as stars in the darkness of the night. Wikimedia Commons

I’m afraid, it’s quite clear that the ferocious jaws of the media and the fierce claws of the minority are well up to the annihilation of the whole civilization of the Indian subcontinent. Wake up, wake up from your slumber! The “secularism” is a sharp-edged dagger handed over to you to cut your own root.

– SALIL GEWALI, Shillong

If something that really makes one look at certain reputed media with the eyes of suspicion then it is for their blatant play of double standards. The double standard itself is disgusting. The integrity of the service is greatly compromised here. When such unethical trick is played at the cost of humanity then the consequences could be very disastrous. This could steadily push the society into the sea of frustration. Thereafter the social anarchy.

This glaring aberration in the world of media is visible as clearly as stars in the darkness of the night. Those who are suffering from a varying degree of mental glaucoma may fail to see it.

Have we not witnessed that media fraternity often sets off the alarm bells when the victims of the crime instances are from a “particular community” but it maintains a “brutal silence” when the perpetrators are those it considers minority or Muslim? Yes, the particular minority are eternally beloved, so they are blameless. Even the traitorous terror-makers from the minority are unblemished to such media folks and a major group of columnists associated with the media. That’s why such elite media and its associates zealously stand up to sympathise with terror-sponsored stone-palters in Kashmir, a bunch of secessionists in the academia and so on and so forth.

Also Read: ‘Don’t Sensationalize or Glamorize Suicide’ Asserts WHO ; Says Media Can Play a Significant Role in Preventing Suicides

No wonder if one who sings ‘Vande Mataram’ then he certainly stands to lose the support base of such media, no matter how influential he is, no matter how dedicated and truthful he is. So, I humbly advise any active citizens, particularly those who want to serve the country, not to utter this jingoistic phrase when alone. Better not at all. On the other hand, if you roar – ‘Bharat ke tukde tukde’ or ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, which are heard more aggressively and more frequently these days, then all defensive forces become hyperactive to safeguard you. These subversive activities by any brats will be soon celebrated and interpreted as a part of the fundamental right, that is ‘freedom of expression’. Have we not noticed in Kashmir where CRPF or other security personnel receiving humiliating bashings, the video clips of which often go around on WhatsApp, from the local? And in case the bold security persons retaliate then those elites from their armchairs thunder that the democracy in the country is under threat? The majority are attacking the minority, blah, blah, blah..!

Elite media and its associates zealously stand up to sympathise with terror-sponsored stone-palters in Kashmir.
Elite media and its associates zealously stand up to sympathise with terror-sponsored stone-palters in Kashmir. Wikimedia Commons

I believe everyone knows how certain so-called student leaders often openly incite their unruly crowds at JNU and other academic institutes. But when the questions of sedition are raised against them then the media comes forward to denounce the government. Mr Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Shehla Rashid Shora, Mr Jignesh Mewani… are lovable sweeties to those intellectuals because their treacherous adventures make them more cheery and lustier. Each anti-nationalist “scream” by these jerks never get wasted. It is systematically used to degrade the nation, demean the culture and denigrated the religion.

Till some years back college ruffians were nonentities but now they are held all of a sudden as leaders and opinion makers. These dangerous creatures are applauded and discreetly advised how best to go about. Many national political leaders as well jump to embrace and defend these troublemakers. But, on the other hand, the same warmth, attachment, and love are not at all showered upon any patriots by any mainstream media. So, citizens who want to sincerely endeavour to bring peace in the country are not at all given any platform, nor encouraged. Rather, the nation’s lovers are intensely scoffed at. They are non-existent, nay subhuman, to the pseudo-secularists. Of course, those people, often branded as ‘bhakts’, are aptly dragged only to paint them with bad colours.

Also Read: Fuelling propaganda: Has the modern media lost its sense of objectivity?

This Republic day brought a great grief to many. A 22 years old student – Chandan Gupta of Kasganj, UP, was heartlessly murdered. His crime is his participation in the ‘tiranga yatra’ singing Vande Mataram. No noticeable outcry of condemnation from any influential elites. Again, Ankit Saxena, a photographer who loved a Muslim girl, was attacked, and girl’s relatives silt his throat in cold blood. Most of the media carried the news as “honour” killing as if it was in some way justified. What would have happened if the same heinous crime was perpetrated by the majority? It would have been Dadri-2. In another monstrous incident, a BJP party worker Mr Santosh was stabbed to death in Karnataka. The killing of patriots is too frequent in Kerala. But no ‘award wapsi gang’ gets ever freaked out at the news …!

Such brutal attacks upon the majority are a very regular phenomenon. But what is “very less known” to the whole general public is that over 95% of such gruesome attacks, and also various kinds of sexual atrocities upon females of the majority, are “not at all reported”. Only those which can’t be suppressed get published. But they usually die down well before the dead bodies begin to rot. Well, no scream of criticism, no alarm of “intolerance” is ever raised by any over-conscious citizens when the people from the majority are killed. No media panel discussion ever called in otherwise cases. Nor even the condemnation of the “onslaught on the humanity” ever heard.

Kanhaiya-Kumar was responsible for openly inciting unruly crowds at JNU.
Kanhaiya-Kumar was responsible for openly inciting unruly crowds at JNU. Wikimedia Commons

Well, had there not been a double standard in reporting the attacks on the “humanity”, if ever the ‘freedom of expression’ is truly valued, such barbaric perpetrators, no matter which community they are from, would not have at all reared their ugly heads. Is it not probable in near future that those beloved villains might “double-cross” and pose continuous threats that would toll the death nail for the double-tongued journalism, apart from the majority! The prelude to that situation is double clear now than ever before.

Also Read: Macaulay’s harrowing effect on Indian media

Lastly, please note, none of the horrendous crimes by the particular community ever become a “Dadri” — the stench of which is still being felt by our depraved columnists. Is this not a part of the grandiose scheme? The situation is dangerously ominous! I’m afraid, it’s quite clear that the ferocious jaws of the media and the fierce claws of the minority are well up to the annihilation of the whole civilisation of the Indian subcontinent. Wake up, wake up from your slumber! The “secularism” is a sharp-edged dagger handed over to you to cut your own root. This is a bitter truth nobody can refute!