Life in Balochistan Comes to a Sandstill Again

The Baloch Hal Monitoring Desk
QUETTA: A complete shutter down strike was observed across Balochistan on Saturday to protest against the deteriorating law and order situation, particularly the increasing incidents of kidnapping for ransom and the assassinations of political dissidents, whose bullet-riddled bodies are often found on the streets.

Business activities remained paralysed in many parts of the province where streets and roads presented a deserted look with very thin traffic plying on the roads.

The strike was called by the All Parties Coordination Committee (APCC) which has been formed by nationalist and religious parties including the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), the Balochistan National Party (BNP), the Awami National Party (ANP), the Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam (JUI-Ideology) Balochistan, and Baloch Bar Associations, transporters and traders to highlight the pressing problems of Balochistan and its people.

The strike was observed in the provincial capital and other districts including Khuzdar, Qila Abdullah, Qila Saifullah, Mastung, Pishin, Naushki, Kharan, Loralai, Nasirabad Jaffarabad, Sibi, Gwadar and other townships.

Most of the shopping and trading centres in Quetta remained closed. However, some restaurants and medical stores were functional as usual. There was no disruption of utility services in Quetta or elsewhere in Balochistan.

Nawab Ayaz Khan Jogezai of the APCC said that the successful strike had showed that people were with the APCC and wanted peace in the province.

“We, the political parties and tribal elders, do not want to destabilise the government but in fact make it realise that law and order should be its first priority,” he said.

He said that the APCC has just one agenda which is the restoration of durable peace in Balochistan.

“The people of this province are fed up with the targeted killings, extra judicial arrests, killing and dumping operation and kidnappings for ransom,” he said, adding that without retaining peace no development project and uplifting schemes would be feasible.

Nawab Jogezai said that the APCC would hold a protest demonstration across the province on March 15.

Balochistan has been facing a separatist insurgency that seeks to create an independent state out of the province. (Courtesy: Express Tribune)