Raisani’s antics and worsening law and order
June 29, 2012
Never letting go of an opportunity to amuse -- or, at times, baffle – people with his strange antics, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani, in yet another one of his Specials, took the lift from a motorcycle rider the other day and reached the Chief Minister’s Secretariat without any security.
Raisani took the lift from Sarawan House which is Government allotted residence for the Chief Minister of Balochistan, apparently in a bid to prove there is no law and order situation in the province.
The officials said Mr. Raisani had an important meeting that’s why he left in such a way.
Often Raisani travels with his usual protocol, but he surprised many people with this act and conveyed a silent message to all the people who consider Balochistan a security failure.
However, Raisani’s surprise move came at a time when authorities had imposed a ban on pillion riding, rallies, protests and processions for two months in Quetta. According to a notification issued by the Home Department of Balochistan, the two-month ban was enforced immediately and carrying of all types of weapons had also been prohibited during this period.
The provincial authorities of Balochistan excluded officials of law-enforcement forces, women, old citizen and children from pillion riding ban in Quetta.
On the other hand, the people of Quetta have strongly protested against the violation of pillion-riding ban by the chief minister and demanded that action be taken against him or a new notification be issued in which the CM is also exempted from this ban.
It merits mentioning here that the ban on pillion riding was imposed after Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry had ordered the provincial government to take effective measures for stopping target killings in Quetta.
But the attempt by the CM to ‘befool’ people that all is well failed as the very next day, gunmen on motorcycles shot dead eight men at a laundry in the restive city of Quetta.
The gunmen were riding two motorcycles when they struck at the laundry in a busy area of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, before fleeing, police said.
“At least eight men were killed and another man was wounded,” senior police official said.
Initial investigations indicated that the victims were “settlers,” he said, referring to people who have settled in Balochistan coming from other provinces of Pakistan.
The police officer told media that the victims were from Punjab province and were inside the laundry at the time of the attack.
In another incident, three policemen were killed when armed men on motorcycles sprayed them with bullets in Eastern Bypass area.
Four policemen on two motorcycles were on routine patrol duty in the Eastern Bypass area when unidentified men attacked them, killing Abdullah, Shahjahan and Muhammad Abdullah on the spot.
It merits mentioning here that CM Balochistan had announced a few days back that action would be taken against the personnel of the police station in whose jurisdiction incidents of target killing occur. But Quetta is continuously under the grip of lawlessness and no action has been taken against anyone. Instead, false claims of all is well are being made.
Due to the deteriorating law and order situation and security concerns in Balochistan, the inter-provincial games, which were scheduled to be held in Quetta next month, were postponed.
The Balochistan Olympic Association announced the postponement of inter-provincial games because players from other provinces had refused to come to Quetta owing to the poor law and order situation.
Balochistan Olympic Association Secretary Afzal Awan said the games were scheduled to be held from July 14 to 16 in the provincial capital. “We have no other option but to postpone inter-provincial games because of prevailing bad law and order situation in the province,” he said.
Awan said the Balochistan Olympic Association had invited athletes and players from Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan to participate in the games and they had accepted the invitation. However, the deteriorating law and order situation in the city forced the association to postpone the games.
“The new date for the games will be announced after improvement in the situation in the provincial capital,” he said.
Sources in the sports ministry, however, said the games could be held in September.
In another violent incident, at least five students from the ethnic Hazara community were killed and over 70 others, including policemen and children, wounded in a bomb attack on a university bus in Quetta city on June 18.
“The remote-controlled bomb was planted in a jeep parked along a road in the Samungali Road neighbourhood of the city. The bomb was detonated when a bus carrying students of Balochistan Information Technology University drove past,” Mir Zubair, the capital city police officer (CCPO), told journalists.
The bus was carrying 75 students – five of them died on the spot and the rest sustained injuries, according to the CCPO.
The dead and injured were shifted to the Sandeman Hospital, CMH and Bolan Medical College Hospital where a state of emergency was declared.
Sources said all the students on board the bus belonged to the ethnic Hazara community. They added that a police van was escorting the bus when it was targeted. The Hazara community has repeatedly been targeted in Balochistan over the past few years.
The lawmakers of the Balochistan Assembly during the Monday session strongly condemned the bomb attack on the bus carrying students.
Minister for Quality Education Jan Ali Changezi strongly condemned the incident, saying all people of the provincial capital of Quetta had been feeling insecure. He observed a walk-out from the House against the failure of police in providing security to citizens.
Provincial Minister Mir Zahoor Buledi said innocent citizens were being killed in bomb attacks. Minister for Law Mir Abdul Rehman Jamali said the House condemned the bomb attack. He was of the opinion that foreign hand was involved in bomb blasts in Quetta.
Minister without Portfolio Nasreen Khaitran said the “deteriorating law and order situation had been pushing us to civil war-like situation”. She demanded timely completion of ongoing development schemes.
Minister for Health Aainullah Shams said perpetrators of bomb attack on the university bus could not be termed human. Minister for Agriculture Mir Asad Baloch, on behalf of his party, Balochistan National Party-Awami, flayed the bomb attack on students.
The shadows of fear are rising in Balochistan, including its provincial capital Quetta. Every citizen is feeling insecure and can’t enjoy the luxury of roaming freely. Till when the people of Balochistan would be made to live under the shadows of fear and insecurity is anybody’s guess?