QUETTA - Two local leaders of Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) were shot dead in separate incidents of targeted killings in Khuzdar district, some 360 kilometers southeast of Quetta, on Tuesday. According to police officials, the first incident occurred near Arbab Complex when armed men hit Haji Ali Musiyani with a volley of bullets. Resultantly, he sustained critical wounds and died instantly.  Deceased Musiyani was a senior worker of BNP-Mengal and Khuzdar Zamindar Action Committee president.

Soon after the first incident, unidentified assailants opened indiscriminate fire on Sultan Ibrahim Road of Khuzdar, killing another BNP-Mengal leader and former district president Javed Baranzai. The police officials, quoting eyewitness, said the assailants in both the incidents managed to flee after committing the offences.  The police shifted the dead bodies to a local hospital for medico-legal formalities. A large number of BNP-Mengal workers thronged the hospital after receiving information of the tragic incidents.“As per preliminary reports, both the incidents appeared to be cases of targeted killings,” a police official said, adding investigations into the crimes were underway to unearth the real motive behind the killings. No group immediately accepted responsibility for the murders.

Meanwhile, BNP-M, while condemning the killings of Akbar Musiyani and Javed Baranzai, announced a three-day mourning and shutter-down strike today (Wednesday).

Addressing an emergency press conference here at Quetta Press Club, BNP-Mengal central leader Dr Jahanzaib Jamaldini said their two party leaders had been brutally murdered just two days after formation of the new government.

He said Frontier Corps and intelligence agencies were actually not serious to normalise the situation of Balochistan, adding targeted killings, recovery of decomposed bodies and other crimes were underway. “Death squad is being further strengthened and patronised by the government,” he alleged.

He also strongly criticised security personnel for arresting innocent people in Nushki and subjecting them to the worst torture. He said differences were being created between the Baloch and Pashtoons through a conspiracy. He announced that shutter-down as well as wheel-jam strike and protest rallies would be held in various towns of Balochistan from June 15 to June 23 against the killings of the party workers and leaders.