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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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Balochistan
Women in Balochistan. Wikimedia

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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Why Violence In USA – No Basic Flaw

Any incident in the USA whether big or small gets worldwide publicity almost instantaneously, just like the current George Floyd issue

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The USA
Even after President Trump condemned the George Floyd incident, USA continues to burn. Pixabay

BY N.S.Venkataraman

Any incident in USA , particularly adverse incident, whether big or small, gets world wide publicity almost instantaneously. This is mainly due to the fact that USA is recognized as a rich country with super power status and known for significant advancement in variety of fields. Such news is followed by debates and discussions in the world media, with some pledged critics stating with glee that such adverse incidents clearly show that USA is a troubled society. Is that really so ?

Why shoot out incidents ?

In the recent years, many shoot outs have taken place in USA in universities, malls and other public places, when number of innocent lives have been lost. Shoot outs have been carried out by individuals for one reason or other and even due to psychic problems of individuals . These individuals hail from all background including young and old persons, white or black persons and there is no uniformity in the background, that point to any particular cause or reason. The detailed investigation that follow such shoot outs do not seem to explain the reasons adequately well with clarity .

It is generally said that the liberal gun policy and the prevailing gun culture in USA is the primary reason for such shoot outs and violence. Most of the Americans possess guns and rarely anyone amongst them indulge in such practices. If the violent prone person would not have a gun, he can use a knife or any other weapon. Are the causes for the violence as simple as gun culture ?

No evidence of widespread black-white conflict :

Now, the case of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer pressed his knee into his neck has caused widespread anger across the country. Obviously, the white police officer is a cruel person and should be punished severely. Even while President Trump has condemned the incident, protestors burned businesses in Minneapollis. They smashed police cars and windows in Atlanta, broke into police headquarters in Portland and chanted curses at Donald Trump outside the White House.

Protest USA
This sad incident should not be misinterpreted as result of conflict of interest between the white and black citizens in USA. Pixabay

This sad incident should not be misinterpreted as result of conflict of interest between the white and black citizens in USA. While some protestors turned violent, there have been number of other protestors who conducted themselves peacefully and with dignity , holding placards and demanding justice for George Floyd. Of these protestors, many of them are white , brown or black Americans. Certainly, there is no racial conflict issue involved in the George Floyd murder but only the stupidity of a violent prone police officer was seen.

Is media playing responsible role?

While the sad incident happened, the media in USA played what seem to be a negative role by prominently showing the photograph of the crying George Floyd being attacked by the white police officer, which has whipped up passion and disgust all over USA causing widespread unrest. It is not the case that media should remain silent without revealing such bad news but the case is that media should be aware of the consequence of highlighting such negative photographs that could lead to greater violence and unrest. In USA, media claims that it has the liberty and right to show , speak or criticise any event as per the prejudices and priorities of the editors and journalists.

Can one say that the freedom of media is being abused and freedom without responsibility can only lead to violence, just as the George Floyd incident show. Many seem to think that the media sensationalise such violence issue, without counselling peace and harmony and discuss the causes in dispassionate and constructive manner. Such positive approach of media could have prevented the violence that followed George Floyd murder.

A tolerant country :

George Floyd incident has created an impression all over the world that USA is a country under the boil. This certainly is not so. There are many civilized and sane voices in USA who rarely get adequate coverage in the media and their civilized thoughts are not adequately publicized for the benefit of the country.

Today, one cannot but deny the fact that U S A is the most tolerant country in the world. People from countries with various background seek migration to USA and think that they would be privileged to get US citizenship. This is mainly due to their confidence that they would get fair deal in USA and the law would protect t their interests.

The USA
Any attempt to describe USA as a country under boil after the George Floyd issue is a mischievous and motivated attempt to discredit USA. Pixabay

Today, USA is essentially described as a migrant country with people visiting USA as students , job seekers or immigrants and most of them seeking to stay in USA life long by getting citizenship. Any attempt to describe USA as a country under boil after the George Floyd issue is a mischievous and motivated attempt to discredit USA. This is very unfair.

Violence everywhere in the world :

Animals try to over power other creatures for self protection and for their feed. Therefore, violence is an essential part of animal’s life. In the case of human beings ( who are supposed to have sixth sense, which animals do not have) ,violence and anger seem to be there in the mindset , which are revealed due to reasons such as prejudices , hatred etc. This is a common trend all over the world including USA. It calls for enormous efforts amongst individuals living anywhere in the world to silence the feelings of anger and violence in the mindset and this is what religions are supposed to aid individuals in achieving such state of mind.

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Like any other country, in USA too, it requires leaders and scholars advocating peace and harmony as way of life and they should get prominent place to mould the society. It is the duty of the media to identify persons of such ethical and moral stature and publicise their thoughts and preachings for overall betterment of the society. The recent violence in USA due to the death of George Floyd do not indicate any basic flaw in the American society.

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Here’s Why China is Predictable and Not Inscrutable

India could’ve easily predicted the Chinese coming on 5 August 2019

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The Chinese actions are far away from being Inscrutable. Pixabay

As the tensions rise between India and China along the borders in Ladakh, Shekhar Gupta in his article for The Print invokes an American political satirist P.J. O’Rourke.

Talking about his works Shekhar points out that in his ‘A Brief History of Man’, P.J. O’Rourke writes a small sentence “Meanwhile, in China, there were the Chinese.”. This sentence is relevant to us today.

Shekhar Gupta believes that the sentence conveys us a sense of resignation about the “inscrutable” Chinese. This thought happens to be familiar thought in the West.

“But we don’t live in the West. We’ve lived next door to China for as long as first civilisations grew.”, writes Shekhar Gupta

Let’s look at the history of Indian interactions with China since independance. What is inscrutable about it? Talking about the military assault across two fronts in 1962, it may have been a surprise to our leaders back then, but that is only because they were delusional.

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Chinese actions in respect to India are predictable now. Pixabay

From Chinese ultimatum to India to “return their stolen yaks and sheep” in 1965, to their appearance along the Ladakh frontier this year, China happens to be completely predictable and far from inscrutable. Especially keeping in mind Chinese actions in respect to India.

The push at Nathu La (Sikkim) in 1967 was probably to check out the resolve from India. Which they saw at its weakest — having fought two recent wars (1962 and 1965), famines, ship-to-mouth existence, political instability and a diminished Indira Gandhi. . The Indian response was a lesson they quickly learnt. What did the Chinese do after that? They have kept the peace for 53 years. Will you call that response evidence of Chinese inscrutability? They probed us, got a rude push-back, and decided to wait and stir the pot in different ways, at different times, says Shekhar Gupta in his artcile for The Print.

The Chinese kept the hold of what they wanted in 1962. According to Shekhar the truth is, they had it in their possession almost fully, barring small, tactically important slivers in Ladakh. They asserted their ownership and let their larger claim, Arunachal Pradesh, fully in Indian control, go militarily uncontested.

The Chinese never gave up claim on it. In 1986-87, they again checked us out at Wangdung-Sumdorong Chu (Arunachal), when they saw Rajiv Gandhi take India’s defence budget to a 4 per cent-plus of GDP. And once more, the response was firm and the Chinese backed off. The lesson we learnt according to Shekhar Gupta is that the Chinese won’t open fire randomly for the sake of it, Or when they are absolutely sure of an easy victory so they could be seen like ‘teaching an upstart a lesson’ as they did in 1962. Predictable.

Each and every action and response of China fits a pattern- Deliver a message, add leverage, and return, according to Shekhar Gupta.

India, China and Pakistan shared this unusual ‘triangulation’ in which China was using Pakistan to keep India preoccupied, said Former Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh during his tenure.

His idea was to break this ‘triangulation’ by seeking peace with Pakistan. He thought, that a country as big and powerful as China, would see less of an incentive for peace with India than Pakistan.

The_Prime_Minister_ China
Former Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s idea was to break this ‘triangulation’ by seeking peace with Pakistan. Wikimedia Commons

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Shekhar Gupta believes that today, that option is not so available, as hostility with Pakistan is central to the Modi-BJP politics. They’d rather make peace with China than Pakistan. That is why the lavish welcomes and frequent meetings with the Chinese leaders. The objective, still, is escaping that triangle.

Another instance of Vajpayee explaining the Chinese negotiating style. “Dekhiye, aap aur hum baithe hain aur vaarta kar rahe hain (see, you and I are sitting and negotiating),” he said. If two people require something and the first person asks to let go of something, the other will say no. Then the first person again asks for something little less, then again the other person might say no. But ultimately the second person will relent and let go of some. The Chinese would never do that.

Both these leaders underlined that the Chinese are consistent, and predictable. And that is why we should not be shoched or surprised by what they have unveiled across Ladakh. We should have anticipated it on 5 August last year when we made the big changes in Jammu & Kashmir. This Chinese move, like all others in 60 years, was fully predictable. Even the timing, says Shekhar Gupta in his article for The Print.

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What Difference Between Chinese Domination and American Domination?

Chinese government has always been dominant over it's people

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Who is more dominant, Chinese government or US government?. Pixabay

By N.S. Venkataraman

Chinese government has not left anybody in doubt, about it’s ambitious target of dominating the world at any cost. Chinese government has been suppressing  freedom of speech in China, taking away the rights of citizens of Hong Kong in authoritarian manner and aggressively occupying the territory of neighbours such as Tibet and part of Indian territory, which it occupied after 1962 Indo Chinese war. China is now claiming Indian province Arunachal Pradesh as it’s own and aggressively claiming territorial right in South China Sea and Senkaku island. Chinese government says that Taiwan is part of it’s territory and objects to any recognition given to Taiwan by any other country.

Further, China is trying to enforce it’s domination over small and weak  nearby  countries  such as Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and others, by extending loans, which  these countries cannot afford to repay in the foreseeable future.

Viewing China’s methods and targets, one does not find much of difference between today’s Chinese government and Hitler’s Germany. Several countries in the world are  gradually realizing that checking China’s ambition is as necessary, as checking Hitler’s ambition  that caused World War II.

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Chinese government has been suppressing freedom of speech in China. Pixabay

However, the supporters of China claim that US government too should be accused of trying to dominate the world and it has sent troops to several countries such as Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and others to enforce it’s domination. There is an element of  truth in this, as American government seem to think that it has the duty to police the world.

In any case, on careful analysis of the scenario and judiciously comparing the domination desire of China and USA, one cannot but see a subtle difference between both these countries.

While China believes in ruthless elimination of opponents both inside and outside China (just like the way Hitler did) and wants to occupy territories of other countries by coercion or force , US does not indulge in such acts of suppression of human rights or occupying territory of other countries.

US has not concealed it’s desire that freedom of speech and democratic procedures should prevail in all regions in the world. On many occasions , US has fought against totalitarian regimes, religious extremists and terrorist groups and has paid a high price by losing American lives.

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USA desires to dominate the world. Pixabay

USA may have the ambition to dominate the world and ensure it’s authority as super power, but it has no ambition of territorial expansions that China has.

All said and done, if the world were to choose between USA and China, it would inevitably come to the conclusion that world domination by USA is a lesser evil than the world domination by China.

Unlike China, the citizens of USA have the right to criticise the decisions of the government, launch protests against human rights violation, if any and exercise their franchise once in four years to change the party in power, if it would act against the wishes of the people. By such process, the conscience of USA largely remain in tact and US government is vulnerable to the pressure of public opinion, both in USA  and other parts of the world.

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In China, the citizens don’t have the right to criticise the decisions of the government. Pixabay

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On the other hand, China has totalitarian regime and no citizen can survive in China if he would criticise the Chinese President or question the decision of the Chinese government. To this extent, it is dictatorial regime in China, which can be termed as uncivilized form of governance.

The fact is that USA has been remaining as super  power in the world for several decades now and  the world has not  become worse due to the dominating power of USA. Of course, there have been criticism against US government by some section of world opinion but  most of such critics belong to religious extremist groups  and motivated  leftist (communist) forces , whose economic  and administrative policies  have totally failed to deliver the goods.

Achieving super power status by China   and establishing it’s authority in large parts of the world with least consideration for value systems and sentiments of people, is the worst thing that can happen to the world civilization.