–Balochistan minister says won’t let anyone become ‘tool of the state’
To protest against the killing of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Arman Loni, a shutter-down strike was observed in Quetta and various parts of Balochistan on Monday as shops and markets remained closed and the flow of traffic was also sparse on roads.
Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) had given the call for the strike to protest against the late PTM leader’s death, who was allegedly killed by the police on Saturday during a sit-in in Loralai. PkMAP’s call was also backed by Awami National Party (ANP), Balochistan National Party (BNP), National Party (NP) and the traders’ community.
Balochistan Home and Tribal Affairs Minister Mir Zia Langove said, “The incident that occurred in Loralai is sad. The Balochistan government is in solidarity with Loni’s family.”
Defending the ban imposed on PTM MNAs Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir from entering Balochistan, the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) leader said that their arrival in the province despite the ban is not right and the provincial government would not let anyone become a “tool against the state”. “We have attained peace in the area after many sacrifices by the forces. People should not become part of any anti-state movement,” he added.
In a veiled reference to PTM’s insistence on leading Loni’s funeral, he said, “No one held funeral prayers in absentia for the 10 police officers who were martyred in Loralai.”
“An investigation is being carried out into Loni’s killing and the real facts will come into light really soon. Do not try to weaken the state in an effort to please other nations,” he added.
On Sunday, taking notice of Loni’s death, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan directed the commissioner of Zhob district to submit a report to him within 48 hours. The family of late PTM leader said that he was killed in a police crackdown and demanded the provincial government to take notice of his death. However, the Quetta SSP operations said that no signs of violence or injuries were found on Loni’s body in the postmortem examination.