Protest in Harnai for second day over security forces’ alleged killing of ANP activist

Protests in Harnai, Balochistan against security forces’ alleged killing of an Awami National Party (ANP) activist continued for the second day on Monday.

The protest was taken out at Khost on the Quetta-Harnai highway and was participated in by workers from the ANP, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and the National Democratic Movement (NDM).

The leadership of ANP and other parties addressed the protest, with the former demanding that the elements involved in the matter be brought to justice. They added that the protest would continue until those involved were arrested.

ANP parliamentary leader Asghar Khan Achakzai was among those who addressed the protest. According to him, seven people were injured in the incident.

He later raised the issue in a Balochistan Assembly session and submitted a motion for adjournment. He said that the ANP worker was killed and protesters were shot at while no terrorist was caught in these areas to date.

ANP MPA and Balochistan Food Minister Zmarak Khan Achakzai, who also attended today’s protest, raised the matter in the assembly session and revealed that a first information report of the incident had also not been registered.

He questioned why the ANP activist was killed by “opening fire at a peaceful protest”.

“Can’t we talk about our rights? Can we not talk about Gwadar? The people of Harnai have the first right over it. The resources of Balochistan are the right of its people.

“We are followers of Bacha Khan [so] we believe in peaceful struggle. There should be justice for our martyrs,” the provincial minister said.

Mabat Kaka, ANP’s provincial secretary general, told that on the night between Saturday and Sunday, two Khost locals were injured allegedly in firing from the security forces, causing their relatives to protest on Sunday afternoon.

Kaka said the protest’s intensity shot up and the crowd resorted to pelting stones at the forces, which led to firing from the latter and resultantly, ANP member Khaliqdad Babar was killed and many others were injured.

He said the body and the injured were moved to Quetta Civil Hospital’s Trauma Centre. Kaka said the party soon after announced protests in various district headquarters.

NDM chief and chairman of the National Assembly Committee on Foreign Affairs, MNA Mohsin Dawar, had condemned the incident on Sunday.

“Firing on the peaceful people of Harnai is a violation of human rights and the constitution of Pakistan. The incidents of firing on peaceful and unwashed people is a matter of concern,” ANP MPA Shahina Kakar had said in a tweet.

ANP KP MPA Samar Haroon Bilour had also expressed her grief over the incident.

It is pertinent to mention that neither the local police, nor the Balochistan government, nor the military have addressed the alleged incident and the subsequent protest.

Soldiers martyred in Harnai: ISPR

said on Sunday that terrorists had fire raided a security forces post in Harnai’s Khost area on late Saturday night which was successfully repulsed by soldiers.

The armed attackers attempted to flee after ambushing the forces, the ISPR said.

“The escaping terrorists were pursued into the nearby mountains and an exchange of heavy fire ensued, and as a result, two valiant sons of soil, Naik Atif and Sepoy Qayyum embraced martyrdom,” the ISPR statement added.

It said the gun battle had also left Major Umer injured, while causing losses to the terrorists.