QUETTA - A complete shutter down strike was observed in Quetta and some other towns of Balochistan on Thursday against the kidnapping of Awami National Party’s former provincial president Arbab Abdul Zahir Kasi.
The ANP had given the strike call to condemn abduction of the party leader who was picked up by some armed men at gunpoint from Patel Road in Quetta on Wednesday. The Balochistan National Party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and other political parties also supported the strike.
In Quetta, all markets, shopping malls and business centres located at Jinnah Road, Shahra-e-Iqbal, Liaquat Bazaar, Imdad Road, Abdul Sattar and other parts of the city remained closed. Due to the strike, traffic plying on various roads of the city was also thin. Police backed by Frontier Corps and other law enforcement agencies were deployed to maintain law and order and avert any untoward incident.
Similarly, the strike was also observed in Pashtoon-dominated cities and towns, including Pishin, Chaman, Qila Abdullah, Sanjavi, Harani and Ziarat where traders and people positively responded to the strike call, bringing their business activities and routine life at standstill.
On the other hand, lawyers on the call of Balochistan Bar Association boycotted court proceedings in Balochistan High Court and other sub-ordinate courts against kidnapping of the ANP leader.
Boycott of courts also observed in other towns of the province by lawyers that caused huge difficulties to the litigants who had to return homes with new dates of their cases.
No group has claimed responsibility for the leader’s kidnapping and the party leaders feared that the incident could be a case of kidnapping for ransom as Mr. Kasi had no enmity with anybody.
Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Maalik has taken serious notice of the incident and directed the authorities concerned to ensure immediate and safe recovery. However, police are so far clueless about the kidnappers’ whereabouts.