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October 1, 2013

Rocket attacks on CM, generals fail to hamper quake relief work


October 1, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The constant grave obstacles and impediments being created by a set of angry Balochs in the official relief efforts in the earthquake-ravaged Awaran by sponsoring alarming attacks have not deterred the government from coming to the rescue of the calamity-struck people.
These hits have not provoked the government to use force to crush the troublemakers. It has announced that the paramilitary forces, which have reached the area for the help of the quake survivors, would not be used to take action against the attackers.
“At the moment, our utmost preference is to mitigate the sufferings of the unfortunate people,” a senior official told The News. “To assume that the forces, which have gone to the region, will take on the troublemakers is totally erroneous.”
A group of estranged Baloch leaders, which has Awaran as its stronghold, is not known to extend even slight help and succour to the disaster affected people but instead they are trying to torpedo the relief activities, being spearheaded by the government agencies.
By putting up hurdles in the endeavours being made in the remote and most backward region, this faction is demonstrating its priority to accomplish its agenda even at this time of misfortune rather than realising the deep hardships people are confronted with. Monday’s rocket attack on Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik’s convoy, the fifth in a row since a massive tremor devastated Awaran, once again underlined the extent of troubled situation prevailing in the area, which is the hometown of irate Baloch leader Dr Allah Nazar, who is engaged in separatist activities. He was on his way to a camp office in the Awaran district. The frequent rocket fire also showed the kind of weapons these elements have at their disposal to use.
Even during his election campaign, an assassination bid was made on Dr Malik but he escaped unhurt. In the present attack, he also remained safe.Before these attacks, an extremely low turnout in this

area in the May general elections highlighted the highly small participation of the electorate in the exercise, which was an eye-opener.
Prior to the current attack, rockets were also fired at least thrice on the helicopters of the serving army generals, who went to the area to oversee the provision of desperately required items of daily use.Dr Malik’s appeal to “commander” Allah Nazar to cooperate with aid agencies in order to provide support to earthquake survivors fell on deaf ears.
The commander fears that the Frontier Cops personnel, who have come to Awaran for the help of the earthquake victims, would in fact move to crush him and his supporters. This is obviously a fallacious notion as the principal priority of the forces present in the region is to extend maximum relief to the catastrophe hit people.
This area saw the lowest voter turnout in the last parliamentary polls. The voter participation in the contest for PB-41 Awaran was very dismal in Pakistan’s history. It was just 1.18 % with the total registered voters being 57,656.The winner, Mir Abdul Qadoos Bizenjo of the PML-Q, had polled just 544 votes against 95 ballots of his challenger, Hayder Ali of the National Party (NP).
In the adjoining Balochistan Assembly seat, PB-42 Panjgur, the NP’s Rahmat Ali had succeeded by clinching only 2,073 votes compared to 1,079 ballots of his runner-up, Asadullah of the Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP-A). The turnout was 9.24 % with the registered voters being 42,102.
In the neighbouring PB-43 Panjgur constituency, the picture was not much different. NP’s Haji Muhammad Islam won by getting 4,369 votes against 2,192 ballots of his main rival, Asadullah of BNP-A. There were 32,764 registered voters.
Even Dr Malik, belonging to the NP, was elected by scoring a small number of votes from PB-48 Kech. He bagged just 4,539 votes compared to 4,149 votes of his leading rival, Ehsan Shah of the BNP-A. There were a total of 74,374 registered voters. The turnout was only 14.29 %.

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