Balochistan CM announces APC after Mastung killings

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Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch on Saturday announced that the provincial government would hold an all parties conference (AOC) following the brutal killing of 22 people in Mastung late on Friday.

On Friday night, unidentified terrorists kidnapped about two dozen passengers from two buses heading to Karachi from Pishin and killed at least 22 of them in Khad Kocha, a mountainous area in Mastung district about 70km southeast of Quetta.

“We will bring the culprits to book,” said Dr Baloch during a hurriedly called press conference at Chief Minister’s Secretariat. The chief minister also said that he had spoken to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with regards to convening the APC, which would be held in the next couple of days.

Leader of the Opposition in the Balochistan Assembly Maulana Abdul Wasey, Rahim Ziaratwal of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Zamarak Achakzai of Awami National Party and other political leaders also addressed the press conference, which was held after successful negotiations with protesting families who had brought the dead bodies of the victims outside CM Secretariat.

The government and opposition leaders termed the Mastung carnage as a pre-planned conspiracy to disrupt the law and order situation in Balochistan.

The parties also announced a shutter-down strike on Sunday across the province to express sympathy with the bereaved families.

“Our enemies want bloodshed here,” said Zamarak Achakzai, the parliamentary leader of ANP, while addressing the conference.

Political leaders also said that for the past 10 days, vulnerable people were being targeted in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan to sabotage peace in the province. They also claimed that the violence was part of conspiracy against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti alleged that Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was involved in terrorists incidents in the province. “The enemies of Pakistan want to destabilise the country,” said Bugti.