Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Four more die as rocket attacks in Sui continue

Four more die as rocket attacks in Sui continue

By Muhammad Ejaz Khan

QUETTA: About 50 rockets were fired on the Frontier Corps (FC) and
Defence Security Guard (DSG) posts in Sui on Monday evening after a
brief lull in the day, killing at least one minor.
The latest incident follows intense firing on the Sui gas
installations, which began 11:30 pm on Sunday and continued
throughout the night, killing three people, including a woman. Heavy
gun battle took place once again at around 5:15 pm that continued
for one hour during which unknown armed men attacked the positions
of the FC and DSG and fired over 50 rockets. "Muhammad Siddique, 9,
was killed in today's exchange of heavy fire," said Sui assistant
Commissioner Dr Akbar Haripal.
Mukesh Ropeta adds from Jacobabad: Three people were killed and 15
wounded in clashes between unknown armed men and security guards in
Sui in Sunday night. Reports reaching here said unknown armed men
started firing on the security guards pickets and gas pipelines in
Sui at 11:30 pm on Sunday, which was returned by the guards and
other law-enforcement personnel.
The firing continued for 12 hours, in which three people were
killed, who were identified as a Sabzo Khatoon, Hashmat Khan Pathan
and Peeral. Fifteen more were injured that included a Ranger,
Muhammad Yousuf.
The firing damaged the main electricity tower, causing suspension of
power supply to the whole of Sui. DCO Dera Bugti Abdul Samad Lasi
told The News that it was difficult to say who were the attackers,
however, it was an act of terrorism. Lasi said they are busy to save
themselves and the citizens of Sui and steps have been taken to
control the situation.
Sources said after a gap of six-hour normalisation, unknown
attackers resumed firing and using latest weapons on the security
guards and the gas pipelines. The clashes were continuing till the
filing of this report.
Agencies add: The fighting prevented workers from assessing damage
sustained during a weekend of intensive rocket attacks, a government
official said. "There has been a lot of damage, but we do not know
its full extent yet. Firing has to end before we can go out," said
provincial government official Mohammed Abbas.
http://jang.com.pk/thenews/

Sindh orders security alert at oil, gas installations

KARACHI: In the wake of armed men's strikes on Pakistan's largest
gas field in Sui area, authorities have intensified security around
oil installations situated in Sindh, particularly in the metropolis,
to counter any similar incidents.
Sources told The News that a high-level meeting, held here on
Monday, reviewed the security arrangements in and around the oil and
gas installations in the province, particularly in Karachi.
The meeting, chaired by Sindh Home Secretary Brig Muhtaram, decided
to deploy the law-enforcement agencies for the security of
installations to counter any possible attack. According to the
sources, the authorities directed the LEAs to keep a vigil on every
person, including visitors, who entered a refinery or an oil field
for any purpose.
The sources said the meeting also took strong note of some
encroachments near the oil installations, particularly in the city,
as such encroachments posed a serious security threat. The
authorities also decided to remove all the encroachments on a
priority basis in order to make the security systems around oil and
gas installation foolproof.
Besides, the LEAs are also directed to intensify patrolling around
the installations especially during night. The sources said the
encroachments around various oil installations, including the
National Refinery Limited (NRL), the KPT oil terminals and some
others posed a serious security threat, as taking advantage of these
encroachments terrorists could easily fire rockets without getting
sighted. Sindh Rangers Director-General Maj-Gen Javed Zia, city
police chief Tariq Jamil, representatives of the Karachi Port Trust
(KPT) and oil and gas companies also attended the meeting.

BHC judge to inquire into lady doctor's case: cabinet

By our correspondent
QUETTA: The Balochistan government on Monday decided to conduct an
impartial inquiry of the Dr Shazia Khalid case through a judge of
the Balochistan High Court (BHC).
The decision was taken in a special meeting of the provincial
cabinet held here under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jam
Muhammad Yousuf. The meeting thoroughly reviewed all aspects of the
incident in addition to the law and order situation emerging in Sui
in the wake of the incident.
Following the instructions made by the provincial cabinet, an FIR
has been lodged by the police at the Sui police station in light of
the statement recorded by the victim lady doctor. Terming the
incident as being against the religious and human values as well as
the traditions of the province, the cabinet vehemently condemned it
and sympathised with the lady doctor.
The cabinet appealed to the people of Sui to be patient and remain
calm and avoid to take law into their hands. The cabinet assured
that the government would fulfil all the requirements of justice and
award exemplary punishment to the culprits involved in the incident
by unveiling them shortly.
The cabinet agreed that the reaction of the people of the area
following the incident is natural. However, taking the lives of
innocent people, creating danger for the national installations and
taking law into own hands by firing rockets is an unfair means to
express reaction and provocation, the cabinet observed. It urged the
people and all the political parties of the province to play their
due role in making successful the efforts of the government being
made for maintaining law and order and improving it further.
The meeting claimed that the government is fully aware about its
responsibility towards the protection of the life and property of
the people and safety of the national installations and it would be
fulfilled at all costs.
The meeting was informed that the statement of the lady doctor had
been recorded, however, she had expressed her unwillingness to file
an FIR or take any other action until her husband returns from
abroad.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister informed the ministers
about the details of conversation he held with the central president
of PML, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Secretary General Senator Mushahid
Hussain Syed and other concerned personalities over the incident.
The cabinet also decided to establish a relief fund in the province
for the victims of tsunami. Meanwhile, Provincial Police Officer
(PPO) Chaudhry Muhammad Yaqoob told newsmen earlier that the
culprits involved in the case would be awarded punishment as per the
law as the case was being thoroughly investigated. The PPO said
police had contacted the lady doctor at her residence in Karachi and
recorded her initial statement about the incident.
In her preliminary statement to police, the lady doctor said: "I was
asleep between the night of January 1 and 2, when all of sudden a I
felt that somebody was pulling my hairs. I got up and saw an
unidentified man who broke into my room. "The unknown person, who
was armed with a TT pistol and torch, hit the pistol on my head and
consequently I lost my consciousness. My husband is in Libya and I
would lodge the FIR of the case on his return from abroad". The PPO
said the lady doctor refused to provide more information in this
regard.
The DIG Sibi and SP Naseerabad were carrying out thorough
investigations into the matter, he said. He said the nomination of
the culprits involved in the incident has not been made so far. He
made it clear that if the Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL)'s
administration in Sui did not cooperate with the police then we will
proceed against them and all hurdles would be removed in this regard.
Replying to a question as to how the lady doctor was shifted to
Karachi without fulfilling the legal formalities, the PPO said
keeping in view her condition the lady doctor had been shifted to a
psychiatric hospital in Karachi for treatment as she was traumatised
in the wake of the incident. Some sources told The News that the
federal government had also directed the ministry of defence to
probe into the matter.
Unidentified men barged into the house of the lady doctor in the
premises of PPL Colony in Sui Tehsil of Dera Bugti district last
week and allegedly gang-raped her. However, a spokesman for the PPL
denied the reports of the gang-rape and asserted that some
unidentified armed men broke into her house, manhandled her and
looted jewellery and cash. Later, the armed men fled, he said.

Baloch woman joins Pak Navy

By Mariana Baabar
ISLAMABAD: Sanhia Karim has become the first Baloch woman to join
the Pakistan Navy that now comprises a squad of around 53 women
officers and 72 sailors.
"I was impressed by the medical camp at Omara and I observed that
many of the technicians could not speak Balochi. It was then that I
decided to join the Pakistan Navy as a female medical technician,"
Sanhia told The News.
At present, Sanhia is learning English at PNS Bahadur-a training
institution in Karachi. With the passage of time, Pak Navy is
attracting more women, after the country's two other forces-Army and
Air Force. Areas preferred by women in the Pak Navy include medical,
sports, musicians, special branch, education and information
technology.
Pakistani women sailors could now be seen playing bagpipes with
their male colleagues, besides working in operation theatre,
dentistry, radiology, laboratory, and as midwives. Many are
participating in athletics and shooting.
According to information provided by the Public Relations director
of the Pakistan Navy, the largest number of women joined Pak Navy in
1996-97 and by 2004 their number swelled. Similarly in 1996, there
were 34 women sailors inducted as compared to 20 in 2004. "Right now
I am very happy and highly motivated to get more of my friends from
Balochistan to join Pak Navy," a radiant Sanhia said.
Three of a family die in Mastung grenade blast
By our correspondent

QUETTA: Three members of a family were killed and their parents
seriously injured when a hand grenade exploded in their home in
Darengar Tehsil of district Mastung, some 50 kilometres off here, on
Monday night. Mastung administration officials told The News that a
shepherd, Khan Jan, found a box in a hilly area and brought it home.
When Jan's elder son broke open its lock, and pulled the safety pin
of a grenade out of curiosity, it exploded, killing three members of
the family on the spot. The deceased were identified as Raza
Muhammad, Ahsanullah and Inayatullah.


By Saleem Shahid

QUETTA, Jan 10: At least two people, including a woman, were killed
and seven others injured, two of them seriously, in heavy gunfire
between armed men and law-enforcement personnel in Sui on Monday.

The heavy fighting that started at 11:30pm on Sunday night continued
till 10am on Monday. "Hundreds of rockets and mortar shells were
fired during 11 hours of heavy gun battle," sources in Sui told Dawn
by telephone, and added that the injured also included a soldier of
the levy force who received bullet injuries.

"Though rocket and mortar shell firing stopped in the morning,
firing with light weapons continued throughout the day in Sui,"
official sources said, and added that electricity and water supply
was suspended as electricity poles, cables and water supply lines
were hit by rockets.

Heavy fighting erupted late night when armed men launched an attack
on the positions of Frontier Corps and Defence Security Guards (DSG)
in the Sui area. The security forces retaliated and targeted the
positions of the armed men with rockets and mortar shells, sources
said.

"The people of Sui could not sleep the whole night as the township
was rocking with the heavy explosions of rockets and mortar shells,"
a police officer said while confirming two deaths in the gun battle.

A large number of rockets and mortar shells landed and exploded in
different residential colonies damaging many houses and killing
animals in large numbers. "Dozens of houses and shops were damaged
in different residential colonies," an officer of the local
administration confirmed, and said that the administration was
collecting detailed information.

The PPL also claimed heavy losses inside its fenced area where
several rockets and mortar shells landed and exploded. The house of
the acting manager was hit by a rocket.

The junior executive mess and a Wapda installation plant were also
hit setting both on fire. The electricity supply was also disrupted
in the gas field, a PPL spokesman said.

All shops and bazaars remained closed for the fourth consecutive day
due to firing and exchange of rockets between armed men and law-
enforcement personnel, while the town of Sui and its gas field was
cut off from the rest of the country as a result of continuous
fighting.

The people were facing great difficulties as both those injured in
the rocket explosions as well as the sick could not be taken to
hospitals. No transport was available in Sui for reaching safer
places.

The woman killed in the firing was identified as Mrs Sabzo while the
man, a resident of the NWFP, was identified as Asmatullah Wazir. He
had been running a provision store in Bugti Colony. He was killed in
the crossfire while he was headed towards his store in the morning.

However, no gas pipeline or other installation was damaged in the
firing, the acting manager of PPL Sui Plant, Mr. Perveiz, told local
reporters in Sui on Monday. The gas supply from Sui for the rest of
the country continued without any disruptions, while the pipeline
that had been damaged in the fighting on Friday and Saturday nights
was repaired and the gas supply to the Guddo Thermal Power Plant was
restored.

Meanwhile, the elders of the Bugti tribe, including Wadera
Qamaruddin (Chief of Kalpar), Wadera Ali Bakhsh Mondrani and Wadera
Ali Mohammad, strongly condemned the firing of rockets and mortar
shells on the residential areas of Sui as a result of which some
people were killed and many injured.

Speaking at a press conference in Sui on Monday, they said that the
personnel of Frontier Corps and Defence Security Guards were
targeting civilian settlements by firing rockets and mortar
shells. "At least eight people have been killed so far and around 28
injured during the last three days due to firing rockets on the
residential areas of Sui," they said.

They said that people suffered losses worth millions of rupees
during the last three days as dozens of houses and vehicles had been
destroyed and many animals had been killed in the rocket explosions.

They said that the security forces had sealed Sui town in its
entirety and had imposed an unannounced curfew that was creating
problems for the people, including not being able to take the
injured to hospitals of other cities for treatment. They alleged
that the PPL doctors were not treating the relatives of the
labourers working with the company.

The Bugti elders also criticized the government for not arresting
the officials of the DSG who were involved in criminally assaulting
a lady doctor. They demanded that the accused should be arrested
without further delay.

KARACHI: Lyariites observe strike


KARACHI, Jan 10: Lyari wore a deserted look on Monday as people kept
their shops, restaurants and other business establishments closed to
mourn the founder of Baloch Ittehad Tehrik, Anwar Bhaijan, who was
assassinated on Friday-Saturday night by an armed gang.

The call for the shutter-down was given by the Tehrik. Public
transport in Lyari remained off the road and private traffic was
also thin. Almost all public and private educational institutions
were closed.

Due to the suspension of all business, educational and other
activities during the day, a curfew-like situation prevailed in the
area. A strong contingent of police was posted at the Haat Chowk
near the central office of the BIT in Chakiwara to meet any
eventuality.

A large number of people from different parts of the city converged
on the BIT office to attend the soyem of the slain leader. On this
occasion, BIT chairman Hanif Baloch vowed to continue the mission of
peace and brotherhood initiated by the assassinated leader


QUETTA: PMA warns of launching countrywide protest


QUETTA, Jan 10: The Quetta chapter of the Pakistan Medical
Association has threatened to launch a nationwide protest if the
government fails to arrest by Jan 16 the culprits who humiliated a
lady doctor of the Sui hospital.

A decision to this effect was taken at an emergency meeting of the
association held here on Monday under the chairmanship of its
president Dr Sultan Lehri.

It discussed what it called the government's lukewarm attitude on
the Sui hospital incident. The doctors, wearing black armbands for
the third consecutive day, expressed resentment over the
government's inaction.

Vehemently condemning the incident, the meeting regretted that the
government had not apprehended the accused even six days after the
tragic incident. The government tactics, it said, appeared to be to
prolong the issue and protect the culprits.

The meeting decided that the association would have no option except
to give a call for a protest movement throughout the country if
government agencies did not arrest the accused by Jan 16. The PMA
also urged all political parties, student bodies and social
organizations to raise their voice against the inhuman incident.

Meanwhile, National Party MPA Dr Shama Ishaque condemned the alleged
sexual assault on the lady doctor and claimed that members of her
family were being harassed and asked to keep quiet.

In a statement here on Monday, she also criticized the management of
the PPL which, she claimed, had attempted to convert the incident.
She demanded arrest of the culprits and steps to provide protection
to female doctors and teachers working in hospitals and schools.

In Dera Bugti, doctors took out a protest procession on Monday which
marched through various roads of the district headquarters. They
were wearing black armbands. Addressing the rally, Dr Fazal Mohammad
Bugti said the barbaric act was condemnable but the government had
not done anything to punish the accused.

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