A Baloch group Tuesday condemned the killing of two innocent women by members of a party that is led by Switzerland based Baloch leader, Brahumdagh Bugti.
“Killing of women and bus passengers is a terrorist act,” said Dr. Wahid Baloch, president of the Baloch Society of North America.
“We strongly condemn this act and we ask B.R.P. leadership to condemn this act instead of taking responsibility and credit for it,” Dr. Baloch said, adding, “Under no circumstances killing of innocent unarmed bus passengers and women can be justified.”
An AFP report cited Baloch officials as saying gunmen shot dead five people in attacks on two buses as rebels in Balochistan staged a strike to mark the sixth anniversary of Nawab Akbar Bugti’s death.
There was a “complete strike” in Quetta and several other districts on Sunday, local police chief Wazir Khan told AFP, with shops and markets closed and traffic brought to a standstill.
The halt was called by Balochistan Republican Party (B.R.P.) leader Brahmdagh Bugti to mark the sixth anniversary of the death of his grandfather Akbar Bugti.
In the southeastern district of Bolan, gunmen opened fire on two buses late Sunday, killing five people including two women, police official Iftikhar Bugti said.
Baloch Republican Army spokesman Sarbaz Baluch claimed responsibility for the shooting.
The B.R.A. is also widely believed to be led by Brahumdagh Bugti, though in recent months he has publicly disowned the group. Bugti is seeking asylum in Switzerland that takes serious notice of terrorism and may ask him to leave if his party continues with such actions.
“We had launched an appeal for a complete strike and the buses bound for southern Sindh and central Punjab provinces had ignored our appeal. We therefore opened fire on them,” Sarbaz Baluch said in a telephone call to AFP.
Baloch human rights defenders privately admit that acts of terrorism by militants have weakened their cause internationally.
Baloch who believe in political struggle fear any violent acts by the B.R.A. is likely to also land Mehran Baluch, a brother-in-law of Brahumdagh Bugti, in trouble with Western governments. Mehran Baluch, who is at odds with his militant brother Hyrbyair Marri, has been raising the Balochistan issue in Geneva and Brussels for more than a decade now.
At this time, the U.S. government is not willing to grant visas to any key Baloch human rights defenders because of their suspected links with terrorist outfits, including Jondullah.
One activist Noordin Mengal who is a grandson of two prominent Baloch leaders Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri and Sardar Ataullah Mengal was arrested, handcuffed and deported from the U.S. in summer 2008 even though he is a Briton; Noordin Mengal is suspected to have links with the militant Lashkar-i-Balochistan.
AFP cited police and residents as saying Sunday’s strike was almost complete across the impoverished and insurgency-hit province, with 21 out of 30 districts affected.
People blocked roads and erected barricades in several places on highways leading to Iran, the southern port of Karachi and other important cities, they said.
In the past, Dr. Wahid Baloch had condemned the kidnapping of U.S. national John Solecki, who was chief oh the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in capital Quetta, by Baloch militants in February 2009.