Mohammad Zafar

Nov 062017

QUETTA: Honour crimes continue unabated in the country despite the government efforts to introduce stringent laws to check this social menace. In the latest incidents, two men and a woman were shot dead in the name of honour in different parts of Balochistan during the last 24 hours, police said on Monday. The first incident took place in the Rabi canal area of Nasirabad district where a man opened fire on his wife and her alleged lover, Sabir Hussain Mughari, killing him on the spot. Women still victims of honour killings despite new law However, his wife, Huran Mughari, was critically injured in the firing. Police evacuated the casualties to the District Headquarters Hospital. In the second incident, a man, identified as Lakhmir, allegedly shot dead his wife and her alleged paramour, Muhammad Arif, in the Goth Wafa Muhamad area of Nasirabad’s Manjushori tehsil. Senior police officer Ghulam Ali Kandrani confirmed that both the incidents were honour crimes. “In both the cases, the alleged killers managed to escape,” he said, adding that they were investigating. Replacing sexism with responsibility Parliament passed a landmark bill in October 2016 which guarantees mandatory prison sentences of 25 years and strips families of the right to legally pardon the perpetrators of so-called “honour killings”. However, the stringent law has made little difference in curbing honour-related crimes in the country. A recent report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) reveals shocking statistics on honour killing in the country. It estimated that some 2,300 women [Read More…]

Nov 032017
Security forces free wife, daughter of Baloch rebel Dr Allah Nazar

QUETTA: The Balochistan government has released the family of a top Baloch separatist militant commander who were detained last month while traveling illegally into Pakistan from neighbouring Afghanistan. Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti confirmed on Friday that the security forces had arrested three women and three children – including the family of Dr Allah Nazar, the chief of the outlawed Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) – but added that all women and children had been released in keeping with the Baloch traditions. “Security forces had detained four women and three children from Chaman on October 30. Later on, it transpired that the women and the children included wife and daughter of BLF chief Dr Allah Nazar,” Bugti told a news conference in Quetta. Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri covers the head with traditional shawl of one of the family members of Dr Allah Nazar released by the security forces on November 3, 2017. PHOTO: INP “The other women included sister of Aslam, alias Acho, commander of the banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) who was killed in a security operation, and wife of Dileep, another leading commander of the BLF,” Bugti added. He showed CCTV footage of the women and children crossing the Chaman border. “Today, the security forces handed over all the women and children to Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and we have released them… Allah Nazar’s wife left for Karachi with his [Allah Nazar’s] brother Mehrullah,” Bugti told reporters. He denied reports doing the rounds on social media [Read More…]

Oct 312017

QUETTA: The Balochistan Assembly on Tuesday adopted a resolution regarding the establishment of a Provincial Finance Commission for distributing resources among the provincial government and the local councils. After tabling the resolution to no avail in the last session, MPA Yasmeen Lehri tried again on Tuesday where she got unanimous support of the house. During the session, Excise and Taxation Minister Sheikh Jaffar Mandokhel assured to take up the resolution as per the recommendations of the assembly in the next formal meeting of the provincial cabinet. He pledged to support the move in letter and spirit during the cabinet meeting. In her speech, Lehri strongly argued that three other provinces of Pakistan had adopted the Provincial Finance Commission resolution decades ago, while Balochistan lagged behind. “Ignoring the issue will pile up problems of the poor people in the region,” she added. Balochistan jails termed the worst for juvenile prisoners The MPAs were of the view that the Provincial Finance Commission would help resolve many problems by making the distribution of resources more just and fair between the provincial government and the local councils. In the past, the ruling coalition government, mainly the religious partners, had opposed the move to establish the Provincial Finance Commission as they wanted to monopolise the available resources of the province and keep local councils out of the loop. On the issue of security and safety on highways all over Balochistan, the house decided to summon officials of the National Highway Authority. It was suggested that the [Read More…]

Aug 142017

QUETTA: At least six soldiers of the Frontier Corps Balochistan were martyred and two others injured in an explosion on Monday. According to a statement, the soldiers died after being hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) when it was on patrol from Shahrag to Khost area. The device was planted on an unmetalled part of the road, which resulted in the entire vehicle being destroyed. The martyred soldiers have been identified as Lance Naik Yousaf Imran, Sepoy Shahab-ud-din, Sepoy Fayyaz, Sepoy Umer, Sepoy Naeem and Civil Security Fazal Rehman. The country has been battling nationalist insurgencies in the province since 2004, with hundreds of soldiers and militants killed in the fighting.   The post Six FC soldiers martyred in Balochistan IED attack appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Jul 132017

QUETTA: Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai has reiterated his party’s unconditional support to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, saying no one would be allowed to derail democracy in the country in the name of accountability. “Just targeting one person [PM Nawaz] and his family in the name of Panama leaks have no justification and it is a conspiracy against democracy and democratic institutions,” Achakzai said while addressing a news conference in Quetta on Thursday. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing offshore assets of the Sharif family indicted Premier Nawaz in its July 10th report submitted to the Supreme Court, saying “he is in possession of assets beyond known sources of income”. PM refuses to resign on demand of ‘conspirators’ Achakzai said his party had formed an alliance with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for the sake of democracy and it never supported undemocratic forces in the country for the last 60 years. He sees hatching a conspiracy in the garb of investigation against the ruling family to close the chapter of democracy in the country. However, he warned that “PkMAP will not tolerate such attempt and resist it with full force”. The PkMAP leader went on to say that he is not against the accountability but want that there should be no discrimination and investigation into corruption should be carried out against all those who had committed corruption. Calibri in spotlight as ‘Fontgate’ could leave Pakistan sans Sharif “Accountability also should be carried out against all those [Read More…]

Jul 052017

QUETTA: The presence of the crippling poliovirus was confirmed in an 18-month-old boy in Mehmoodabad area of Chaman, Balochistan on Wednesday, making it the first polio case for the year in the province and third in the country. According to sources within the health department, Ahmed Shah, the infant son of Agha Shah, is a resident of Rah Mohammad Mohalla in Killa Abdullah district. The child had received only two or three doses of the polio vaccine since birth, said health officials, adding that his mother and grandmother had repeatedly refused the vaccination drops. 11 doctors in Peshawar refuse polio drops According to the child’s family, he developed high fever and constipation and they first took him to a local dispensary and then the local children’s hospital where doctors suspected he had contracted polio. Health officials said the presence of the virus was confirmed after stool samples were tested and other medical tests conducted. Southern Afghanistan and the Quetta block is thought be an active region for poliovirus transmission in the world. The post Country’s third polio case confirmed in child from Balochistan appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Apr 232017

QUETTA: A brief spell of relative peace was broken in Balochistan on Sunday when four security personnel belonging to Frontier Corps and a civilian were killed in a remote-controlled bomb attack in Kech district. The bomb planted along the roadside targeted a FC convoy that was heading to Mand, a town close to the border with Iran, said official sources. “Four personnel of Frontier Corps and a civilian were killed in the blast,” Bashir Ahmed Bangulzai, Commissioner of the Mekran Division, confirmed to The Express Tribune, adding, “The civilian, who was killed in the blast, was travelling in a vehicle along with the FC personnel.” He said three seriously injured soldiers were shifted to Turbat by helicopter. “One vehicle of the convoy was completely destroyed in the blast while another got damaged,” a senior security officer said. He said an improvised explosive device (IED) was used to target the convoy. Radd-ul-fasaad: FC foils terror bid in Turbat The four soldiers killed were identified as Rehmat Shah, Munir Ahmed, Salahuddin and Rehmatullah. The name of the civilian could not be ascertained. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. The official sources said a search operation had been launched in the area to trace the attackers. Moreover, no arrest had been made so far in this regard. The FC and Levies personnel reached the spot following the incident as the investigation into the incident was underway. Security was tightened in the area following the terrorist attack. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz [Read More…]

Jan 212017

QUETTA: A military helicopter carrying Balochistan Home Minister Mir Safaraz Bugti and other senior officials crash landed at the Khalid airbase on Friday without causing injuries to anyone on board. Bugti, who is also in charge of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), was flying in a Bell helicopter of the Army Aviation to Kalat district to airdrop relief goods in the areas affected by heavy snowfall.  Senior PDMA officials were also onboard the chopper. Relief goods were dropped for the people stranded in the Jalalzai area of Kalat when the helicopter developed a technical fault, according to official sources. The pilots immediately called off the operation and flew back to Quetta. The helicopter crash landed at the Khalid airbase, but luckily no-one on board was . “All seven people on board, including Bugti, Assistant Director PDMA (Relief) Faisal Khan, Chief Secretary Officer of the Home Minister Syed Amin, Danish Langove and three crew members escaped unhurt,” one official source added. According to officials, the fault developed in the hydraulic system of the helicopter. Meanwhile, two more helicopters successfully dropped relief goods for people affected by snow in different areas of Kalat and Mastung districts. Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri expressed concern over the incident and thanked God the pilots safely landed the helicopter. Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2017. The post Balochistan home minister survives chopper crash landing in Quetta appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Nov 272016
WHO representative: Balochistan inches closer towards polio-free status

QUETTA: Balochistan is on the right track to eradicate polio virus from the province, chairperson of the region’s technical advisory group Dr Jean Marc Olive said on Sunday. Presiding over a meeting held at Balochistan Polio Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), Dr Olive said: “We are very near stopping the virus transmission in Balochistan,” he said. Commending the province, he said that it had made remarkable progress, but there still remained a few gaps that needed to be plugged to ensure that we reach every child.” Dr Olive also visited Pishin and Quetta and appreciated the work of frontline workers in high-risk areas. “We need to monitor the vaccination campaign in Afghan refugee camps,” he said. According to him, poor performance union councils were decreasing. “This is a positive sign but more efforts are needed to reach every child.” He said that he appreciated the recruitment of permanent local community health workers in high-risk areas under the community-protected vaccination programme. Currently, he said, there were more than 2,500 such permanent teams working in high-risk areas in Balochistan. Prominent among those who attended the meeting were EOC coordinator Syed Faisal Ahmed, Chief of UNICEF’s Polio Unit Chris Mory and WHO’s representative Dr Zubair Wadood. Faisal Ahmed briefed Dr Oliver on special government interventions in the province. Praising the commitment of the project’s frontline workers, he maintained that it served as a backbone of the entire Program. Syed Faisal Ahmed pointed out that Balochistan would initiate an IPV campaign in March next year in [Read More…]

Nov 102016

QUETTA: Balcohistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri on Thursday announced the arrest of both the mastermind and facilitators of the Civil Hospital massacre which left more than 70 people dead in Quetta. No other details were provided by the chief minister. At the same time, he said, the perpetrators behind the Police Training College suicide attack were being actively pursued. Zehri said that a joint investigation team (JIT), comprising senior officials and experienced investigators, had already been formed to probe the attack. He contended that if the previous governments had taken effective action, the security situation in the province would have been far better. Referring to a terrorist attack in which he was personally targeted and his son, brother and other family members lost their lives, he said he boldly faced terrorists and had pledged to eliminate them once for all. Outlining his government’s achievements, he said that the national anthem, once shunned in all educational institutions, was sung in all schools and colleges across Balochistan. He said that terrorists were beating a hasty retreat. “Pakistan’s flag is now being proudly unfurled everywhere in Balochistan, confirming that terrorists and separatists have been defeated,” he added. The chief minister also presided over another meeting which reviewed development plans for Kalat division. Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th, 2016. The post Civil Hospital massacre: Aug 8 attack mastermind arrested, says CM Zehri appeared first on The Express Tribune.