It is tragic that largest province of the country once again surfaced in the news for all the wrong reasons. At least 20 labourers were killed and three others injured when gunmen opened fire at a camp in Gugdan area of Turbat district early Saturday.
Over 50 men attacked the workers camp at 1:30 am in Gugdan area in Turbat, a main district in southwestern Balochistan province. Armed men arriving on motorbikes woke the labourers from their sleep before opening fire on them. 16 of the victims were residents of Sadiqabad area of Punjab and four were from Sindh’s Hyderbad city. It was astonishing to know that no levies personnel were harmed as they did not resist. According to reports labourers were lined up and shot after the terrorists asked for their identity. Security personnel guarding the camp had fled when confronted by a large number of attackers. Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch arrived in Turbat and directed authorities to arrest the attackers and had has announced Rs 1 million as compensation for the families of victims. Rs 50,000 will also be provided to people injured in the attack.
The victims were reportedly all non-Baloch, mostly from Punjab, while a few of the men were from Sindh. Quaid-i-Azam Residency in Ziarat was also burnt in 2013. It is unfortunate that nationalist forces claiming to speak for the rights of Balochistan are either silent or offer muted criticism whenever such gory incidents take place. Ironically it was not the first incident of targeted killings against non-Baloch people, last year several workers were also killed in Balochistan after their ethnic backgrounds were determined by gunmen in an incident near Hub. At this crucial point political leaders not only speed up the efforts to arrest the culprits but also find the ways to redress the grievances of the people of Balochistan.