Friday, May 4, 2012

Balochistan shut in anger over Lyari operation

QUETTA: A shutter-down strike was observed in major cities of Balochistan on Friday to condemn the ongoing security operation in Lyari, a Baloch-dominated area of Karachi. The strike call was given by the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) and supported by Baloch student organisations. The strike paralysed businesses and trade in Turbat, Panjgur, Pasni, Hub, Gwadar, Khuzdar, Naushki, Mand, Tump and other parts of Balochistan. Streets wore a deserted look as shops, business centres and schools were closed for the day. There was also thin attendance observed in government offices. BRP spokesman Sher Muhammad Bugti said, “The people of Lyari are trapped indoors for the past one week, running short of food, potable water and other essential needs of life.” He said it seemed that it had been decided to “punish” the Baloch in the country and deny them their basic rights. Bugti alleged that forces had jammed all cable and Internet services in many parts of Balochistan when a special interview of Baloch national leader Nawabzada Brahamdagh Bugti was being telecast on a Balochi news channel. Balochistan National Party (BNP) workers also staged a protest demonstration outside the Quetta Press Club and raised slogans against the government and police for their “brutal policies against the Baloch”. Addressing the protesters, BNP Information Secretary Agha Hassan said the ongoing operation in Lyari was part of “genocide of the Baloch”. “The excessive use of force against the Baloch, which had started from Balochistan, has now been extended to Karachi.” Agha Hassan criticised the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), saying the party was “appeasing the MQM by killing the innocent Baloch”. staff report  source daily Times

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