As many as nineteen passengers were killed by armed militants near Mastung in Balochistan late on Friday. The militants forced the passengers off the Quetta-Karachi bus. Several passengers were left injured as a result of the attack. The passengers were abducted a few hours earlier from the Karachi bound buses and killed later on. As of Saturday no militant group claimed responsibility of the brutal attack. The DCO Mastung claimed that 15 to 20 militants abducted close to 35 passengers. Five passengers were later released by militants, said a Levies official. Traffic remained suspended on the Quetta-Karachi highway as transporters protested against the horrific incident. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed grief over the loss of precious lives in the incident. He extended condolences to the grieving families and directed the concerned authorities for the quick arrest of the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
A large number of protesters staged a sit-in outside the Governor House on Saturday to protest the killings. Relatives of those killed in the incident protested with victims’ bodies laid beside them. Law enforcing agencies also carried out an operation in the area to hunt down the militants involved in the incident. The Frontier Corps (FC) spokesman told media that five militants were killed in the operation.
Incidents like this have become quite a common occurrence in the province and despite the repeated guarantees by the Government regarding the arrest of militants and the security of the common people the situation has not improved. It is high time that the Government realizes that mere ‘notices’ in the wake of brutal incidents like the one in Mastung won’t stop the militants, strong action is needed instead of verbal assurances. Those responsible for the attack on the lives of innocent civilians must be brought to justice at the earliest.