LAHORE: Just a day after the Sindh Rangers killed a most wanted Tehrik-e-Taliban terrorist, Saqib alias Arif, in Hub and only hours before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was scheduled to inaugurate the Gwadar Port along with Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and important Chinese guests, terrorists made their presence felt again Saturday by killing more than 30 people in far-flung Khuzdar district of Balochistan, which has now been struck by terrorism, sectarianism and linguistic violence over 200 times during the last 15 years, research reveals.
Saqib alias Arif was involved in terror attacks, including ambushing former Karachi corps commander Gen Ahsan Saleem’s vehicle, suicide attack on Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, murder attack on Bilal Sheikh (chief security officer of former president Asif Zardari) and attacks on churches and minorities.
Terrorism in Balochistan has till date claimed the lives of thousands of people, including the security personnel, media men, sects like the vulnerable Hazara community, politicians, key government functionaries, judges, police high-ups, students, lawyers and doctors.
Here follows a list of some of the major terror incidents in Balochistan during the current year:
On October 24, 2016, at least 60 cadets and recruits were killed after militants had stormed a police training centre in Quetta.
On August 8, 2016, terrorists attacked a hospital in Quetta, killing between 70 and 95 people, including a large number of lawyers. Those who perished in this incident had assembled at the hospital where the body of Bilal Anwar Kasi, the president of Balochistan Bar Association, was brought after he was shot dead by an unknown gunman.
NOTE: On June 16, 2016, the Counter Terrorism Department, assisted by the intelligence agencies, had arrested a key commander of a banned outfit in Quetta. Khaliq Dad, apprehended during an action in Nawakali, was said to be the mastermind of several terror activities.
And on June 14, 2016, at least five alleged terrorists had been killed in a gun battle with security forces on the outskirts of Quetta.
NOTE: On March 24, 2016, an official announcement regarding the arrest of an Indian navy officer, serving for his country’s spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), was made by Balochistan’s Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti.
Confirming the arrest of the serving RAW officer, Kalbhushan Yadav, Bugti revealed the high-profile spy was arrested three days ago and he had been in contact with Baloch separatists and religious organisations.
February 6, 2016: At least 10 people were killed and several others wounded when a suicide bomber hit a vehicle of the patrolling Frontier Corps in Quetta.
On January 13, 2016, at least 15 people are killed and several injured after a bomb had exploded near a Quetta polio Centre.
Now, following is a timeline of some heinous incidents that have hit Balochistan from 2003 to 2015 and resulting in loss of 10 or more lives.
June 8: Some 11 police trainees, hailing from the Hazara Shia sect, were shot dead in a sectarian attack at Quetta’s Sariab Road.
July 4: Nearly 50 people were killed in another attack on a Shia mosque in Quetta.
March 2: Nearly 45 people were killed when a procession of the Shia Muslims was attacked at Quetta’s Liaquat Bazaar.
Note: On May 3, 2004, a car bomb in Gwadar had killed three Chinese engineers, and on August 2 of the same year, the then chief minister of Balochistan, Jam Yousaf, had escaped an attempt on life when his convoy was attacked.
December 10: At least 10 people were killed in a bomb explosion in a Quetta market. The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) had claimed responsibility for the explosion.
March 19: Over 35 people were killed when a terrorist went on to explode himself in a mixed crowd of Shia and Deobandi devotees at the shrine of Pir Rakhel Shah in Jhal Magsi.
February 5: A bomb explosion on a Lahore-bound bus from Quetta had killed 13 persons in Bolan district.
March 10: Some 30 people were killed in Dera Bugti after a bus had hit a landmine.
It is noteworthy that on August 26, Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed in a battle between tribal militants and government forces in Balochistan. At least five soldiers and at least 30 rebels were believed to have perished too.
August 26-31: Akbar Bugti’s killing had sparked rioting, which had left many people dead in just five days. Scores were injured and arrested.
February 17: A suicide bomber killed 15 persons—including a judge— after blowing himself up inside a Quetta court.
July 19: Some 26 people died at Hub, Lasbela district, in an attack apparently targeting the Chinese workers.
It may be noted that on July 27 of the same year, Raziq Bugti, a former guerrilla commander-turned-spokesman for the Balochistan government, was shot dead in Quetta.
NOTE: On January 26, 2009, Hussain Ali Yousafi, chairman of the Hazara Democratic Party, was allegedly shot dead by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in Quetta, and on August 4, Baloch separatists shot dead four policemen and had threatened to execute 21 hostages, if the government did not withdraw paramilitary troops and released their detainees.
NOTE: On October 25: The Punjab-born Balochistan Education Minister and a local PPP stalwart, Shafiq Ahmed Khan, was shot dead in Quetta.
It is imperative to note that on November 17, 2009, the then DIG Nizam Shahid Durrani, was seriously wounded in a blast in Quetta.
April 16: At least 10 people were killed after a suicide bomber had struck a Quetta hospital.
NOTE: On July 14, 2010, unidentified gunmen had assassinated Habib Jalib, a former senator and nationalist leader of the Balochistan National Party in Quetta.
August 14: At least 10 people were killed in a series of militant attacks within Balochistan.
September 3: At least 75 people were killed in a suspected suicide bombing upon a Shia rally at Quetta’s Meezan Chowk.
NOTE: On November 30, 2010, the convoy of the then Balochistan Governor, Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi, was attacked in the Mungichar area. However, Magsi had escaped unhurt, and on December 7 of the same year, at least two people were killed in Quetta, after a suicide bomber had unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate the then Balochistan chief minister, Aslam Raisani.
April 26: In Quetta, four men riding motorcycles opened fire on a bus full of passengers, then sprinkled petrol on it and set it on fire, roasting dozens inside the vehicle.
NOTE: On June 16, 2011, Olympian Abrar Hussain was shot dead outside of his office near Quetta’s Ayub National Stadium by unidentified gunmen on a motorbike.
August 31: A dozen Shia Muslims were killed in Quetta following bombing outside a mosque on Eid-ul-Fitr.
September 7: Twin explosions in Quetta had left at least 26 people dead.
September 20: At least 26 people were killed when armed militants had attacked a bus in Mastung. The victims were Shia pilgrims who were travelling towards Taftan.
November 21: At least 14 soldiers of the Frontier Corps were killed when BLA militants attacked their convoy near Musa Khel town.
NOTE: On December 29, 2011, two assailants had opened fire on the vehicle of a police surgeon Dr Syed Baqir Shah in Quetta. He was a key witness in the controversial Kharotabad incident. He had carried out the autopsies of five foreigners, including two women, who were shot dead by security personnel in Quetta’s suburb of Kharotabad in May 2011 and had disputed the account of law enforcement agencies.
December 30: A suicide bomber affiliated with the BLA killed 13 people in Quetta.
January 12: The Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) insurgents ambushed a convoy of paramilitary troops near Turbat, killing 14 soldiers.
June 7: At least 15 people were killed when a remote-controlled bomb blast triggered outside a madrasa in Quetta.
June 18: A bus carrying Shias was bombed in Quetta, killing dozens on the spot.
June 28: Some 14 people were killed when a suicide attacker had targeted a bus of Hazara Shias in Quetta.
July 6: Some 18 Shia pilgrims travelling to Iran were killed in Turbat.
July 8: At least 14 people were killed by a landmine blast in Chaman.
August 27: Gunmen shot dead eight people in attacks on two buses in Balochistan. Same day, three Shias were gunned down in Quetta.
NOTE: On August 30, 2012, unidentified gunmen had shot dead a Shia sessions judge, Zulfiqar Naqvi, along with his driver and a police bodyguard at Quetta’s Munir Mengal Road.
October 12: A dozen more perished in a bomb explosion near a restaurant on Nishtar Road in Sibi. Same day, three security personnel were killed in Dera Bugti, when their vehicle hit a landmine.
November 2: At least 18 persons were killed after unknown gunmen opened fire on a bus in Khuzdar.
NOTE: On November 6, 2012, Agha Aftab Haider Jafri, a prominent Shia leader, was shot dead in Quetta. Same day, four people, including three Hazara Shias, were also killed in separate shooting incidents in Quetta.
January 10: At least 105 persons were killed in two separate bomb blasts on Alamdar Road in Quetta. Many of the casualties were caused by the second blast as police and media personnel were rushing to the scene. The bombed area was predominantly a Shia locality.
February 16: At least 92 people were killed after a suicide bomber struck a busy Quetta market. Police said it was a sectarian attack and the Shia community was the target.
Match 22: At least 10 people were killed when a bomb planted on a motorcycle-rickshaw exploded in a Dera Allahyar town market.
NOTE: On April 16, 2013, at least four people were killed – including the son, brother and nephew of Sanaullah Zehri, the provincial chief of the PML-N and the current Chief Minister of the province – in restive Khuzdar district.
May 11: At least 15 persons were killed when unidentified assailants attacked the convoy of an election candidate on the polling day in Naseerabad district.
NOTE: On May 12, 2013, the then Balochistan IGP and now Punjab Police chief, Mushtaq Sukhera, narrowly escaped a suicide attack in the high security zone on Quetta’s Zarghoon Road. Some seven people had resultantly lost lives. And just two days prior to this particular incident, terrorists blew up Quaid-e-Azam’s Residency in Ziarat, besides attacking a bus of women students enrolled in a Quetta medical college.
June 15, 2013: At least 25 people – including Mansoor Kakar, the deputy commissioner of Quetta, 14 students of Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University and four nurses – were killed when a bomb ripped through a bus, followed by a suicide attack and a gun battle in the Bolan Medical College Hospital, where the injured students were taken for treatment. Assistant Commissioner Anwar Ali and two police officials had also suffered bullet wounds.
August 8: While DIG Fayyaz Sumbal and DSP Shamsur Rehman, were fatally hit by terrorists in Balochistan’s capital, had again managed to dodge death. It is pertinent to note that the then CCPO Quetta Mir Zubair was also accompanying IGP Mushtaq Sukhera. The suicide bomber had actually targeted a funeral being held for a police officer in Quetta. Around 40 people were consequently killed.
NOTE: On September 18, 2013, SP Sariab (Quetta) Basheer Ahmed Barohi survived after his official vehicle was fired at by unknown gunmen.
January 21: A bomb planted on a bus killed 24 Shia pilgrims.
June 8: At least 24 people were killed when militants attacked a bus carrying Shia pilgrims from Iran to Quetta.
NOTE: On June 14, 2014, a minority member of the Balochistan Assembly, Handery Masih, was killed by his guard in Quetta, and on June 20, 2014, an environmental tribunal judge, Sakhi Sultan, was killed in a firing incident in Quetta’s Jinnah Town area.
August 15, 2014: At least 13 reported militants had tried to storm two Pakistan Air Force bases, Samungli and Khalid, in Quetta. The attack was foiled by security officials. A dozen militants were killed.
NOTE: In November 2014, one person was killed and 20 injured in an explosion targeting a vehicle carrying ATC judge Nazeer Ahmed Langov in Quetta.
April 11: Militants gunned down at least 20 labourers in Turbat.
May 29: At least 22 bus passengers were killed in Mastung. The gunmen were clad in uniforms of security personnel.
October 19: At least 11 people were killed and another 22 were wounded after a bomb exploded in a Quetta bus.