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'Katil bhi aur investigator ek,' says Akhtar Mengal

By Devaki

Islamabad, July 15 (ANI): "Katl karne vaale bhi vo hain aur investigation karne vaale bhi vahin hain" says Akhtar Mengal, leader of the Balochistan National Party blaming the government for the assassination of former BNP senator Habib Jalib.

Speaking on Geo TV last night, an agitated Mengal said that the situation in Balochistan is worse today than it was during the rule of General Musharraf.

He said that during General Musharraf's military rule, Balochis were picked up from the streets and taken to torture cells, but now, under the so-called democratic regime, "people are being killed openly on the roads of Balochistan."

Baloch leaders, who came on various television channels last night, said that the spate of terror incidents is going unchecked in the province.

The aspirations of the Baloch were being crushed under state sponsored action they alleged.

The BNP leaders said they would no longer accept platitudes by the government.

Meanwhile, as expected, comments hinting at Indian stoking of fires in Balochistan were also made.

PPP Senator Lashkari Rasani said on a television channel "Some anti-Pakistan forces do not wish to see development in Balochistan." The BNP has called for a 40-day mourning and a three-day wheel jam strike in Balochistan.

Yesterday Quetta was under siege, with Balochis smashing the windowpanes of shops and vehicles. It was almost a total shutdown in Balochistan.

The situation is expected to worsen in the days ahead.

The Chief Minister of Balochistan, Nawab Muhammad Aslam Khan Raisani, has ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident by a judge of the High Court of Balochistan. He has also directed law enforcement agencies to arrest the culprits, mobilising all available means.

Habib Jalib Baloch, a former Senator from Balochistan and secretary general of the Baloch National Party (Mengal), was gunned down outside his residence on the outskirts of Quetta on Wednesday morning.

Jalib was a member of the opposition faction of the Balochistan National Party and was among those politicians in the restive province who were willing to negotiate and engage in the political process through the parliamentary system.

He was going to drop his children to school when gunmen shot him down outside his residence before making good their escape.

Jalib was born in 1952 in Marriabad area of Quetta. He got his basic education at the Quaidabad Primary School.

He joined the Baloch Students' Organisation and was elected chairman of the BSO in the 1970s. He was arrested several times for taking part in political movements.

In 1977, he left the country and spent nine years in Afghanistan and Russia where he continued his studies and obtained a law degree.He returned to Pakistan in 1991 and founded the Balochistan Progressive Alliance, which was later merged into the Balochistan National Movement.

When the BNM split, he joined the faction led by Sardar Akhtar Mengal. He served twice as secretary-general of the BNP-M. He was elected to the Senate in 1997. By Smita Prakash (ANI)

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