Pakistan: Quetta and Peshawar Rocked

PakistanOn Sunday two of provincial capitals Quetta and Peshawar were rocked by blasts and incidents targeting security personnel were also reported from other cities. Many Pakistanis completely fail to understand the motives behind such attacks, but consensus is developing that external forces are using local extremist and militants groups. There is growing feeling that external elements undertake such attacks and then issue statements in which some local insurgent group claims the responsibility.

In Quetta killing of Hazaras is most common and often Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claims responsibility. A suicide bomber blew himself up near Ali Ibn-Abu-Talib Imambargah in Quetta that killed at least 28 men and women of Shia Hazara community and injured 60. As usual Lashkar-i-Jhangvi was prompt in claiming responsibility for the attack.

CapitalCity Police Officer Mir Zubair Mehmood told reporters that prayers were being held inside the Imambargah when the blast took place. He said the target of the bomber was Imambargah but he could not reach there because people responsible for security of the Imambargah stopped him at the barrier.

In another city of Balochistan, Khuzdar, at least three persons were killed and several others injured when armed men opened fire on passenger buses. Reportedly gunmen on motorcycles opened indiscriminate firing on three passenger buses in the Wadh Tehsil area of Khuzdar district. Three persons were killed and several passengers injured in the attack.

Though, on face value it looked ‘business as usual’ the call for strike complicates the issue. While no one has claimed responsibility of this attack, Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) called for protest demonstrations across the province on 2nd July against what it claimed as an operation of security forces in the town of Wadh in Khuzdar district.

Agha Hassan Baloch, Central Secretary Information of BNP-M alleged that security forces had launched an operation in Wadh and surrounding areas. “Forces have picked up 12 BNP-M activists without any reason,” Baloch claimed. He said that the people of the area were being punished for voting in favour of Sardar Akhtar Mengal in the provincial assembly elections.

At least 17 persons, including three children, were killed and more than 46 injured in a blast near Peshawar’s Badaber police station targeting a convoy of security vehicles. Convoys of security forces have come under frequent attacks on the road linking Peshawar with Kohat in jurisdiction of Badbher and Mattani police stations.

In another incident three security personnel were killed and ten others injured in an attack on Frontier Constabulary convoy in North Waziristan tribal region’s Miranshah area. A senior police officer, Shafiullah Khan told media that convoy was moving on Kohat road when a vehicle parked near a CNG station detonated. A mysterious explosion near Wana killed four volunteers of an Amn Lashkar (peace committee) and wounded 15 others.

Former provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain expressed concern over the killing of civilians. He said the provincial government headed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had been issuing statements about the need to hold talks with militants but the latter kept on killing innocent civilians.

Politicians seem to be moving at snail’s speed, Worried over militant attacks on its lawmakers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the provincial government has decided to have a meeting with the army chief to work out a national strategy on terrorism.

PTI chief Imran Khan said the provincial government would write to the army chief through the Prime Minister’s Office in a day or two to seek a meeting with General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. Khan has also urged upon all national forces to sit together to hammer out a strategy to deal with terrorism.










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