Balochistan govt to revise security plan following killings in Noshki

Quetta  -  A day after nine people were shot dead in Noshki, Balochistan Chief Minister Sarfraz Bugti on Sunday chaired a high-level on law and order where it was decided that the province’s security plan would be revised to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future. Nine people, who planned to reach Europe to live a better life, were shot dead in Balochistan in the small hours of Saturday. The gunmen abducted them from a Taftan-bound bus based on their ethnicity and dumped their bodies under a bridge in a hilly area of Noshki. In a similar attack possibly by the same gunmen, an­other two people were killed after they attem­p­ted to escape the cordon set up by the assailants on N-40, the Quetta-Noshki Highway. A spokesperson for the banned Balochistan Libe­r­a­tion Army claimed responsibility for the killings. According to officials, armed men blocked the highway and started intercepting the vehicles. Soon, they intercepted a passenger coach on its way to Taftan from Quetta and looted the belongings of passengers, including cash and mobile phones. After checking the identity cards of the passengers, the gunmen separa­ted nine passengers who had Punjab as their residential address and took them away at gunpoint. According to the national identity cards, the victims hailed from Wazirabad, Gujranwala and Mandi Bahauddin. Today, Bugti chaired a meeting in Quetta on law and order in the province. A statement by the Chief Minister’s Secretariat said that Balochistan Inspector General Abdul Khaliq Sheikh, Chief Secretary Balochistan Shakeel Qadir Khan and other senior civil and military officers attended the meeting.

 The attendees strongly condemned the attack and reviewed the law and order situation in the province. The meeting decided to comprehensively revise the security plan to prevent similar incidents in the future, the statement said.

“This war against terrorism is not only for security forces,” the statement quoted Bugti as saying. “This war against the enemies of peace is state’s war,” he said.

 “Politicians, civil armed forces, bureaucracy, judiciary, [and] media all have to fight this war,” he said. He vowed to “fight this war against terrorism with political responsibility and a common plan of action”.

He also instructed to ensure that compensation was given to the heirs of those killed within seven days.

On Saturday, Bugti had said the government would revive the security checkpoints on national highways to protect passengers.

Talking to the media after attending the funeral prayers of the nine victims, he said, “Those involved in the horrific killing are not Baloch but terrorists, and they should be called terrorists”.

The CM said the government would probe the Noshki incident and fix the responsibility. He added they would not negotiate on the killing of innocents and the government would undertake a comprehensive review of the security plan in the province.

“National highways are the most important routes, and we will protect them. We will formulate a security plan again in the province, establishing checkpoints with joint patrolling of the police, Levies, and the FC [Frontier Corps],” he said.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also condemned the attack and sought a report on the incident. He extended his condolences to the victims’ families, saying: “We stand with the bereaved families in this hour of grief.”

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