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Strike in Balochistan following PTM leader Loni's killing

February 04, 2019

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The call for a shutter-down strike was given by Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and backed by ANP, BNP and NAP. — File
The call for a shutter-down strike was given by Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and backed by ANP, BNP and NAP. — File

A shutter-down strike was observed in Quetta on Monday, while areas of Balochistan where the Pakhtun population is concentrated were shut down in protest against the death of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader Arman Loni.

The call for a shutter-down strike was given by Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) to protest against Loni's death, which allegedly occurred during a sit-in in Loralai on Saturday.

The Awami National Party, Balochistan National Party, National Party and the traders' community backed the call for today's strike.

Shops and shopping centres remained shut in Quetta and the flow of traffic was also sparse on roads.

Speaking about the incident, Home and Tribal Affairs Minister Mir Zia Langove said: "The incident that occurred in Loralai is sad. The Balochistan government is in solidarity with Loni's family."

However, the Balochistan Awami Party minister also said: "The arrival of PTM leaders to Balochistan in spite of the ban [on their entry] is not right. We will not let anyone become a tool against the state."

"We have attained peace in the area after many sacrifices by the forces. People should not become part of any anti-state movement."

Seemingly criticising the PTM's insistence on leading Loni's funeral, Langove said: "No one held funeral prayers in absentia for the 10 police officers that lost their lives in Loralai.

"An investigation is being carried out into Loni's killing and the real facts will come into light really soon. Do not try to weaken the state in an effort to please other nations," he added.

According to an official handout circulated on Sunday, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan had directed that the inquiry report be submitted to him within 48 hours.

Following his death, Loni's family and members of PTM had maintained that he was killed in a police crackdown and demanded that the Balochistan government take notice of his death.