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October 24, 2020

Balochistan govt urges PDM to delay Quetta meeting amid security fears

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October 24, 2020

QUETTA: The Balochistan government on Friday urged the Pakistan Democratic Movement's (PDM) leadership to delay its October 25 jalsa in Quetta, citing security concerns, Geo News reported.

"Terrorists are targeting political leadership in Balochistan," said Liaquat Shahwani, the Balochistan government spokesperson, during a news conference. Shahwani's comments come a day after the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) in Islamabad issued a threat alert for Peshawar and Quetta, sayingthat banned militant outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is planning terrorist activities in the two cities.

A statement by the authority said that the TTP aims to target religious and political parties in bomb attacks and suicide bombings. Another major terror attack also took place near Ormara a few days earlier when fourteen, including seven FC personnel, were martyred when an Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL) convoy was attacked by a large number of terrorists.

Claiming that the government was taking security issues seriously in Balochistan, Shahwani said that Opposition parties should show some responsibility. The government's concerns have risen following a rise in security threats, the spokesperson said, adding that a terror bid was recently foiled in the province's Qamar Din Karez Tehsil.

Noting that the past law and order situation was a cause of fear in the province, Shahwani highlighted that the PDM had already delayed its jalsa two times earlier. "We do not have any issues with the [PDM] holding jalsas. The government will provide every facility to the [Opposition] whenever it holds rallies next," Shahwani added.

The Quetta jalsa is the third anti-government power show of the 11-party alliance. The first and second rallies were held in Gujranwala and Karachi, where the Opposition had slammed Prime Minister Imran Khan over his policies.

The next jalsas of the PDM are to be held in Peshawar, Multan, and Lahore on November 22, 30, and December 13, respectively.