Monday, May 02, 2005

Machh grid station, rail track, attacked

Mach, Pasni grid stations sabotaged

By Muhammad Ejaz Khan

QUETTA: The Mach and Pasni grid stations were attacked while a railway track was blown up by unknown saboteurs in a fresh upsurge of attacks on the vital government installations in the province, sources said on Sunday.

Police officials said unknown saboteurs fired three rockets from unknown direction that landed near the Mach power supply grid station.

"Two of the rockets fell inside the boundary wall of the station, while another landed outside the wall, injuring one Khalil Ahmed who was asleep in an open space," the officials said. They added that the attack did not cause any damage to the grid station.

In another incident, the Pasni grid station was attacked by unknown saboteurs in Pasni Tehsil of Gwadar district, some 832km off here.

The unknown saboteurs resorted to indiscriminate firing on the grid station with sophisticated weapons. Resultantly, the grid station developed some fault and power supply to the area was suspended.

On being informed, officials of the administration and police reached the scene to probe into the incidents.

Also, some unidentified men planted a powerful explosive device on the railway track between Bakhtiarabad Domki and Damboli railway stations.

The device went off with a big bang, blowing up around one-and-half-feet track, causing suspension of rail traffic for several hours. The Railways technical staff repaired the dismantled part of the track.

APP adds: Inspector-General of Police Balochistan, Chaudhary Muhammad Yaqoob on Sunday said law and order situation was under control in the province due to the drastic measures taken by them to curb the trouble-makers.

"There is a lot of improvement in the law and order situation during the past three months and we are confident that in coming months things will be quite normal," he told APP here.

The Balochistan police chief said it was wrong to say that the law and order situation was not under control. Yaqoob said the incidents of damaging national installations and bomb blasts were common in the province but now due to the effective measures taken by the police these incidents had considerably reduced.

"We have arrested many people in this regard and with the help of information provided by them we unearthed groups supporting these activities and we are still following few others to eliminate incidents of terrorism in the province," he said.

He said the people of Balochistan are peace-loving and they want to see peace prevailing there. "They have always supported those activities of the law-enforcement agencies which aim at promoting peace," he added. "To prevent attacks on national installations we have evolved a plan to guard them round-the-clock and by improving our vigilance we gained success by stopping all such incidents."

Yaqoob said the government was trying to find a political solution of the current situation in the province and hopefully the matter would be resolved soon.

Machh grid station, rail track, attacked

By Azizullah Khan

QUETTA: Unidentified people fired three rockets targeting a grid station in Machh and injured a man, while a bomb exploded on a railway track near Sibi, officials said on Sunday.

The rockets were fired from nearby hills in the Machh town, 60 kilometres south of Quetta. Two rockets fell in the grid station area while one fell out of the boundary and injured a man. However, power installations remained safe in the attack. Baloch Liberation Army has claimed responsibility for the attack.

A man who identified himself as Azad Baloch told authorities by phone that the attack had been carried out by BLA activists who demanded more rights for the Balochistan province.

A railway track was damaged when a bomb exploded on the track between Sibi and Bakhtiarabad, around 140 kilometres southeast of Quetta. Railway authorities said that about one-and-half feet track was damaged. No body has claimed responsibility so far, they said. Another bomb was found about one kilometre from the site of the explosion and was defused, an official said.

It was the third attack on the train track in the last few days. Two bombs exploded three days ago in Dera Allah Yar where four people were injured, including three policemen. Two paramilitary personnel were injured two days ago when unidentified people fired five rockets in Kohlu, some 340 kilometres east of Quetta.

Body on Balochistan looks at sub-committees’ report today

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Balochistan will meet today (Monday) at Parliament House to discuss reports by its two sub-committees. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, the committee chairman and Pakistan Muslim League president, will chair the meeting. Senate leader Wasim Sajjad, who is also the chairman of a sub-committee on constitutional recommendations, will submit its report to the committee on constitutional amendments on provincial autonomy and the National Finance Commission award. PML Secretary General Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, who also heads the sub-committee on political and development affairs in Balochistan, will also present a report to the committee. online

May Day observed across Sindh, Balochistan

Rallies taken out; leaders demand labourers’ rights

By our correspondents

LARKANA: May Day rallies were taken out here on Sunday to mark the World Labour Day in which hundreds of workers and members of various trade and labour unions of Sukkur, Jacobabad, Ghotki, Dharki, Larkana, Shahdadkot, Ratodero, Shikarpur, Kamber, Ratodero, Mirokhan, Kandhkot, Thull and other localities participated.

Veteran trade union leaders, including Muhammad Shafique Qureshi, Abdul Aziz Abbasi of Watan Dost Mazdoor Federation Pakistan (WDMFP), Comrade Abdul Qadir Malgani and Manzoor Ahmed Ahir of Watan Dost Mazdoor Employees Federation separately led the rallies.

The rallies started from Lahori Regulator and Lahori Muhallah Larkana and terminated at Jinnah Bagh Chowk, where a public meeting was held. Prominent labour leaders addressed the public meeting.

More than 20 trade unions, including the Municipal Workers Union Larkana, Rickshaw Union, Taxi Union, Rice Mills labour unions, Highways labour Union, Berri Mazdoor Federation, participated in the May Day rallies to pay homage to the martyrs of Chicago.

Addressing a big public meeting at Jinnah Bagh, Sindh Minister Haji Altaf Hussain Unar said the present government under the leadership of President Musharraf has determined to provide facilities to the labour class because they play vital role in boosting the economy of the country.

He said all the projects were being completed with the efforts of labours performing their duties day and night, adding the government was trying to provide facilities to them under the labour laws so that they would be able to live in a respected manner. He said the provincial government would provide all assistance to the workers to get their due rights.

He said his party would continue struggle to secure the rights of the working class. The minister said the government had already increased the salaries of low-paid servants and hoped that in the new budget their salaries would further go up. He paid rich tributes to the martyrs of Chicago.

Meanwhile, speaking at a meeting at Railway Station Larkana, Muhammad Shafique Qureshi, President Watan Dost Mazdoor Federation Pakistan (WDMFP), Abdul Aziz Abbasi and others said the struggle to secure the rights of workers would continue despite all odds.

They said the IRO negated the basic and fundamental rights of workers.

They lamented that thousands of workers had been taken out in the name of downsising from banks and other state-run units, creating frustration and starvation for their families.

They paid rich tributes to the struggle of Chicago martyrs, who sacrificed their lives for the rights of their community.

In Sukkur, on the call of National Labour Federation of Union, hundreds of workers took out a rally, which after passing through main thoroughfares of the city reached at the press club, where they staged a protest demonstration.

The protestors holding banners and placards were raising slogans against price-hike and unemployment.

Speaking on the occasion, the leaders said that, 25 employees of scarp tube-well Ghotki were not paid their salaries for last 16 months due to which their families were facing starvation.

They alleged that the officials were demanding bribe for disbursing the salaries to the labours.

They demanded immediate disbursement of salaries to the Ghotki labours and asked the government to control the ever-rising price hike and unemployment.

Similar rallies were also taken out in Jacobabad, Thull, Kandhkot, Shikarpur, Ghotki and Daharki.

In Jacobabad, activists of the Shahree Ittehad and labour wing of Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party took out separate rallies. The participants of both the rallies marched various roads of the city and reached at the press club, where they dispersed peacefully.

In Ghotki, Ubauro, Daharki and other areas, the labours took out similar rallies, and marched through various roads of the city to pay homage to the Chicago martyrs, who sacrificed their lives for their community. They were carrying banners and placards, demanding of the government to increase the salaries of labours.

In Quetta May Day was observed in the provincial capital and other parts of Balochistan here on Sunday.

Various labour organisations, including Pakistan Workers Confederation, Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Central Labour Union, PWD Employees Union, BDA Employees Union, Irrigation and Power Employees Union and the unions of various other departments, took out the rallies in connection with the May Day in the provincial metropolis.

The participants of the rallies, most of them the government employees of the low grades, were the part of these rallies that were taken out separately. They marched through various roads of the city including Liaquat Bazar, Mezan Chowk, Shahrah-e-Iqbal, Jinnah Road and Prince road. They carried placards, banners and posters inscribed with slogans for the rights of the employees and labourers.

A big public meeting of the day was held under the aegis of Pakistan Workers Confederation and PWHECLU at the Imdad Chowk where the labourer leaders, including the senior vice president of the PWC, Haji Muhammad Ramzan Achakzai, Haji Syed Muhammad Lehri, Haji Muhammad Ashraf, Sher Jan, addressed the meeting.

In their speeches, they highlighted the importance of observance of the May Day paying homage to the martyrs of the Chicago, who rendered their lives for the rights of the labourers in 1886. They said that the labourers were waging struggle for their rights. They alleged that the labourers are still deprived of the basic rights and consequently are facing immense problems.

Railway track blown up

By Saleem Shahid

QUETTA, May 1: A portion of the main railway track linking Quetta with the rest of the country was blown up near the Domboli area of Nasirabad district early on Sunday morning seriously affecting the rail traffic. Also on Sunday, rockets were fired at installations of the Quetta Electric Supply Company in Pasni and Mach.

According to Pakistan Railways authorities saboteurs had planted a powerful bomb on the railway track near Domboli, about 250 Km south-east of here. It went off at around 2.50 am blowing up a portion of the railway. All Quetta-bound passenger trains were stopped at the Jacobabad station. It took several hours to replace the damaged track and service on the main line was restored.

Three rockets were fired at the Grid Station in Mach. Two of the rockets exploded in an open place, while the third hit the main gate of the grid station, smashing window-panes and doors. A man passing was hit by splinters. A generator of the power house in the sub area of Pasni was damaged when some people fired on the plant.


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