Defence News: Senate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, was targetted in a powerful blast on Friday in Pakistan occupied south-western Balochistan province. The blast kiled 25, the death toll numbers may still be revised upwards. Haideri was coming out of a religious seminary after addressing a gathering in Mastung shortly after the weekly Friday prayers. The place is approximately 70 kilometers from capital Quetta.
Ghafoor Haideri is a top official of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), one of the country’s most powerful religious political parties. JUI-F has been targeted by Pakistani Taliban in the past, despite the party leaders acting as negotiators between the militants and Pakistan government in the past. Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, the deputy chairman of the upper house of parliament, told Reuters minutes after the blast that he believed he was the target and he had sustained minor injuries.
“My convoy was going to Mastung and there was an explosion. There are many casualties as there were many people in the convoy,” he said by telephone. Mastung police official Ghazanfar Ali Shah said the convoy appeared to have been hit by a suicide bomber and at least 17 people were killed, including Haideri’s driver.
Pakistan’s interior minister Chaudhry Nisar has condemned the attack and demanded a detailed report from the Balochistan police. Prime minister nawaz sharif has also condemned the attack.
People in Baluchistan have waged a campaign against the central government for decades, demanding their fair share of the gas-rich province’s resources. Taliban and other Islamist militants also operate near the borders with Afghanistan/Iran. A greater push towards peace and development by Pakistani authorities has reduced the violence and this has been based on the CPEC corridor which faces major threats itself. The threats are high rate of interests on loan, outdated power plants that threaten to shut down before they start, no real Pakistani business benefits other than giving China, Arabian sea access and flood the Pakistani market with cheap Chinese goods with ease. Such a proposal is likely to kill Pakistan’s industry and increase it’s problems to a whole new level.