QUETTA: The shrine of a popular Sufi poet of Balochistan, Mast Twakali, has been set on fire.
The shrine, located in Mawand area of Kohlu district, is visited by thousands of devotees each day and there are a good number of followers of the poet across the subcontinent.
Sources in the Levies Force said that some people entered the shrine in the early hours of Saturday and set it on fire.
Soon people of the area gathered at the shrine and tried to extinguish the flames. They brought the fire under control after hectic efforts.
A big portion of the shrine was badly damaged by the fire, an official of Kohlu’s district administration told Dawn.
Kohlu’s Deputy Commissioner Ejaz Haider issued directives for the arrest of people involved in the incident.
He said that after the incident Levies personnel launched a search operation in Tomboo tehsil of Kohlu district and took five suspects into custody.
He said elements involved in the incident would be brought to justice.
People in political and literary circles have strongly condemned the incident and termed it an attempt to create hatred among different segments of the society.
They called for action against people involved in the crime.
Towaq Ali Mast — popularly known as Mast Twakali — was born in 1828 in the home of Lal Khan Sheerani Marri.
It’s said that at the age of 28 Mast Twakali fell in love with a lady called Samoo. He left everything for his love and started poetry. He died at the age of 74, some 27 years after Samoo’s death.
He described in his poetry his love for Samoo. Through his poetry, Mast Twakali spread the message of love for the humanity and the motherland.
Two killed in firing
Two people were killed in firing on a Quetta-bound container in Dhadar area of Bolan district on Sunday.
Officials of the Levies Force said that armed men riding a motorcycle opened fire on a container of a private company near Dhadar area, killing the driver and another man in the container.
“The driver and the other man were killed on the spot,” Levies officials said, adding that they were identified as Shamsullah and Lal Muhammad.
“The container was carrying goods for some traders. The armed men set the container on fire,” the officials said.
Strike against ‘attack’
A strike was observed in several district headquarters of Balochistan on Sunday on the call of Baloch National Front (BNF) in protest against an alleged attack on the activists of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) in Okara.
Shops in Mastung, Kalat, Khuzdar, Panjgur, Gwadar, Turbat, Hub and some other towns remained closed.
The VBMP activists were reportedly attacked by some unidentified people in Okara. The activists started their march on foot from Quetta and after passing through different areas of Sindh they are now moving towards Islamabad where they will hold a protest sit-in against disappearance of their relatives.
In their statements, the Baloch National Voice, Baloch National Movement, three factions of Baloch Students Organisation and Baloch Republican Students Organisation condemned the attack and appealed to United Nations, Amnesty International and other human rights organisations to take notice of “human rights violations” in Pakistan.
The parties accused intelligence agencies of being involved in the attack on VBMP activists.
They said they would continue their struggle for the rights of Baloch people despite difficulties.