Death in Quetta

THE murder of Nazima Talib, an assistant professor of mass communications at the University of Balochistan, was a targeted killing, for which the Balochistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility. This violent incident showed neither the government nor the BLA in a positive light. The government proved that it was unable to provide security to an innocent university teacher in the countrys largest province. As the BLA spokesman claimed, the murder was a reaction to the killing of two Baloch women in Quetta and Pasni, as well as the torture of women political workers in Mand and Tump. Though no real justification, those earlier events also showed the inability of the government to provide women basic security. That was not the only failure of the government: there are questions arising over the so-called Aghaze Huqooq-e-Balochistan package, which had been announced by the President himself with much fanfare, but which has disappeared along the way, leaving the people of the province as deprived and dispossessed as ever. The unrest, which lay behind the killing, has not been properly addressed by either the provincial or federal governments, both formed by the PPP. However, that is no justification for any killing, let alone that of a university teacher who had been making her contribution to the development of the province since the establishment of the mass communication department in 1987. The general condemnatory reaction to her assassination should show the perpetrators that their cause has not been advanced. It is well known, and too well established to be denied, that India has a finger in the pie, in the shape of support for the BLA and other insurgents. It is no surprise to India-watchers that it should underwrite the cold-blooded assassination of women, but this should serve as an eye-opener to those who never tire of singing its praises as the worlds largest democracy. The government must not leave this murder as yet another of the unsolved murders, which besmirch the province, as have so many in the past, and from which it has suffered so much. Otherwise the dangerous trend of targeted killings based on ethnicity can unleash havoc in he country.

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