Category Archives: Quetta

Quetta Civil Hospital’s trauma centre declared autonomous body

QUETTA: The Trauma and Emergency Centre of Civil Hospital Quetta has been declared an independent and autonomous institution in view of observations of the judicial commission formed to investigate the last year’s deadly attack outside the hospital.

The Balochistan’s health department announced on Saturday that a notification in this regard had been issued.

The provincial government formed the judicial commission after the killing of Bilal Anwar Kasi, president of Balochistan Bar Association, in a gun attack and the subsequent suicide bombing outside the Quetta’s Civil Hospital in which 70 people, mostly lawyers, were killed on Aug 8 last year.

According to the notification, Dr Fahim Khan has been appointed managing director of the trauma centre and senior surgeon Dr Azimulah Babar director medical services.

It said seven new administrative officers, 14 surgeons, five neurosurgeons and five specialists of skin diseases would be appointed for the centre.

It has been decided that in case of an emergency, doctors at all public sector hospitals in Quetta would ensure their availability to the trauma centre within 30 minutes on the call of its managing director or director medical services.

The notification said all staff members would have to report the managing director on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, there are calls from some quarters that there should be a ban on doctors posted at the trauma centre from doing private practice.

Police investigating Islamic State claim of Chinese citizens’ killing

QUETTA: Balochistan Inspector General of Police Ahsen Mehboob on Friday said the police and law enforcement agencies are investigating the truth behind a video that went viral on social media in which two abducted Chinese nationals were shown dead. The so-called Islamic State (IS)-linked Amaq news agency claimed responsibility for their deaths. The Chinese pair are said to have been studying Urdu at a language centre in the Jinnah township of Quetta when they were abducted by gunmen disguised as police on May 24.

According to local media reports at the time of the abduction, armed men took the couple as they left the centre. Another Chinese woman just managed to escape during the confrontation. Islamic State claims it killed two Chinese teachers kidnapped in Quetta Unless their dead bodies are received it will be too early to say anything about it, the IG said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying has said the Chinese side was trying to learn more about the reported killing of two Chinese nationals kidnapped in Pakistan and verify the situation by all means, including via the Pakistani side. We have noted the relevant report and are highly concerned about that, Chunying remarked when asked to confirm the report that two Chinese nationals kidnapped in Pakistan were killed. The spokesperson said, “We have been trying to rescue the two hostages during this period of time.”

She said the Chinese side firmly opposes kidnapping of civilians, terrorism and extremely violent acts in all forms. The claim of the killings sparked anger on Chinese social media, with some strongly anti-Muslim comments. IS, which controls some territory in neighbouring Afghanistan, has struggled to establish a presence in Pakistan. However, it has claimed several major attacks, including one on the deputy chairman of the Senate last month in Balochistan, in which 25 people were killed. On Thursday, Pakistan’s military published details of a three-day raid on a militant hideout in a cave not far from Quetta, saying it had killed 12 “hardcore terrorists” from a banned local Islamist group and prevented IS from gaining a “foothold” in Balochistan. China’s ambassador to Pakistan and other officials have often urged Islamabad to improve security, especially in Balochistan. The numbers of Pakistanis studying Mandarin has skyrocketed since 2014, when President Xi Jinping signed off on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Head of Islamic State in Afghanistan killed Consequently, any attack on Chinese interests in Pakistan would come as an embarrassment to Islamabad, which prizes its relationship with Beijing. The two refer to each other as “all-weather friends”. Security in Balochistan has improved in recent years, but separatists, who view infrastructure projects as a ruse to steal natural resources, killed 10 Pakistani workers building a road near Gwadar this month. China has also expressed concern about militants in Pakistan linking up with what China views as separatists in the far western Chinese region of Xinjiang, where hundreds have been killed in violence in recent years.

Security beefed up In light of current government’ directives, police and other law enforcement agencies are trying their level-best to ensure safety of the people and their property. Security arrangements in the second Ashrah (10 days) of Ramazan have been made effective in order to curb any subversive activities.

IG Mehboob said, “Tight security arrangements have been made during the time of Taraweeh in mosques and for the markets as shopping for Eid has started.” He said checking system at the entrance and exit points of the city has been made much more effective.  Replying to a query about the viral video issued by the IS showing the death of two Chinese nationals, he said, “There is no confirmation of their deaths yet.”  He added: “Unless the bodies of the kidnapped Chinese are received their deaths cannot be confirmed.” (With additional input from agencies)

Geological survey of two villages agreed upon

QUETTA: Amid a claim by the military on Sunday that 50 Afghan soldiers were killed in its response to the Afghan attack on security men escorting a census team in two border villages on Friday, officials from the two countries agreed to conduct a geological survey of the hamlets with a view to removing discrepancies in the Afghan maps.

The decision was reached on Sunday during the third round of a flag meeting at the Friendship Gate in Chaman. It was attended, among others, by geological experts from the two countries.

The fresh negotiations followed two flag meetings on Friday and Saturday that remained inconclusive.

Frontier Corps Sector Commander North Brig Nadeem Sohail represented Pakistan while the Afghan delegation was led by Col Sharif of the National Army at the meeting, which was held amid an uneasy calm in the area with troops on both sides on alert.

Pakistan says 50 Afghan troops were killed in retaliatory action on Friday; Kabul disagrees

The Friendship Gate continues to remain closed and at least 15,000 people from the villages have moved to Chaman town, Qila Abdullah, Quetta and other places since the clashes.

Official sources claimed that some differences were found between “our maps and the ones presented by the Afghan army” during the meeting.

The two sides agreed to conduct a survey of the `controversial’ Killi Jahangir and Killi Luqman villages after the Pakistani and Afghan experts of the geological survey briefed the meeting on the matter.

Military officials agreed that Google Maps would also be considered while conducting the survey.

Sources said that experts of the two geological survey departments would be part of the survey teams.

Since the unprovoked Afghan attack on Friday in which 12 Pakistanis lost their lives and 40 others were injured, Pakistani military had made it clear to the Afghans that the two villages belong to Pakistan.

Afghan casualties

Meanwhile, Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Aamir Riaz and Inspector General Frontier Corps, Balochistan, Maj Gen Nadeem Anjum said the armed forces would not compromise the country’s territory and any attempt by anyone to intrude into Pakistani side would be foiled with full force.

Gen Riaz, who along with Maj Gen Anjum visited Chaman on Sunday, was talking to reporters.

“Fifty Afghan army personnel were killed and over 100 sustained wounds in retaliation by Pakistani forces,” Gen Riaz said.

“At least five posts of the Afghan forces were destroyed, from where they were targeting Pakistani civilian population,” he said.

In a veiled warning to attempts being made about the two villages, Gen Riaz said the same response would be given to those who were trying to make Pakistan territory controversial.

“The Friendship Gate will remain closed till the Afghan government changes its attitude,” he declared.

Pakistan has deployed more army and FC troops in the area after Friday’s incident.

Maj Gen Anjum told reporters in Chaman that Afghan troops had attacked the census staff and entered the two villages and started firing and shelling on civilians.

“They used the villagers as a human shield,” he said, adding that Pakistani forces responded with full force and got back the area the same day. “We are not happy over the human and other losses suffered by the Afghan forces as they are our Muslim brothers.”

However, he said, the armed forces would not allow anyone to enter Pakistani territory as “we will not compromise on our international border”.

On Friday afternoon, Gen Anjum pointed out, the Afghan government had requested for a ceasefire which Pakistan acceded to.

He said Pakistani forces had not used heavy weapons to avoid civilian losses on the other side of the border. However, he added, Pakistani forces would protect their territorial solidity at all costs.

According to AFP, the Afghan government rejected the Pakistani claim.

Sediq Sediqqi, a government spokesman, in a tweet said that a very false claim by Pakistani Frontier Corps had been made that as many as “50 Afghan soldiers lost their lives in Pak retaliation; totally rejected”.

Samim Khpalwak, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province, instead said two troops were lost in the attack, in addition to the death of a civilian.

The Durand Line, a 2,400km frontier drawn by the British in 1896 and disputed by Kabul, has witnessed increased tension since Pakistan reportedly began trenching along it last year.

Balochs will never become India’s slaves at behest of ‘certain elements’, says Zehri

Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri on Sunday said Balochs can never become slaves of India at the behest of a handful of elements propagating enemy’s agenda in the province.

The chief minister was addressing the fourth death anniversary of “Zehri martyrs” at Anjera Kalat. On April 16, 2013, Nawab Zehri’s convoy was targeted during the election campaign in the area in which his son, brother and nephew lost their lives.

“Balochs live in Pakistan as brothers,” the chief minister said while addressing a public gathering in Anjera Kalat.

Inspector General Frontier Corps Balochistan Major General Nadeem Anjum, provincial ministers Sardar Aslam Bizenjo, Nawab Muhammad Khan Shahwani and other political and tribal leaders addressed the public meeting.

Zehri said the “elements” sitting abroad were trying to use the youth for their nefarious designs. “Social media is not the criteria for liberation, in fact, the Baloch people stand for prosperous and peaceful Pakistan,” the chief minister said.

He said if the suspected militants [ferraris] shun violence and come down from mountains, they would be welcomed by the government. He, however, clarified that the writ of the government would be ensured at all cost.

The Balochistan FC chief said Balochistan’s role was important for the country and its masses have sacrificed a lot for the restoration of peace. He said the province played a pivotal role in making Pakistan an atomic power.

Maj Gen Anjum, however, said Pakistan’s enemies have used some elements inside the province to advance their nefarious designs. “But Baloch people stood with Pakistan and foiled nefarious designs of enemies,” the FC chief said.

Strike across Balochistan cities against ‘racial profiling’

QUETTA: A strike was observed in the provincial capital on Friday on the call of the Awami National Party (ANP) against the arrest and torture of Pakhtuns in various cities of Punjab and in Karachi.

Shops, markets, shopping plazas and business centres remained closed in main areas of the city. However, on the outskirts of Quetta, business remained as usual.

The local authorities had taken strict security measures and deployed a heavy contingent of police and Frontier Corps to avert any untoward incident during the strike.

Meanwhile, addressing a press conference, ANP’s Balochistan president Muham­mad Asghar Achakzai and deputy opposition leader in the provincial assembly Zamarak Khan Piralizai claimed that a complete strike was observed in Quetta, Pishin, Qila Abdullah, Chaman and Loralai.

They strongly condemned the “racial profiling” of Pakhtuns and their arrest in Punjab.

“There is no doubt that Pakhtuns as a nation have faced much more loss in the country due to terrorism than other communities. Despite this, they are suspected of being invo­lved in terrorist attacks,” said Mr Achakzai, adding that “a case in point was the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks in Lahore and Sehwan Sharif”. “Due to the closure of the Torkham and Chaman borders, 80 per cent of Pakhtuns’ business was affected,” he regretted and asked why the Wagah border was not closed despite tensions with India.

Mr Achakzai said: “We cannot change our neighbours; we have to live with our neighbours; we should negotiate and resolve our issues with them.”.

Deputy opposition leader Piralizai claimed that 80,000 CNICs of Pakhtuns had been blocked by Nadra and asked the government to release them as soon as possible.