The unlucky buses started their journey one from Chaman (the Balochistan bordering town with Afghanistan) and then went on to Pishin where it loaded its remaining passengers. A second bus was ready from Pishin and both started their journey from Quetta, the capital city of Balochistan toward Karachi. Who knew some 22 passengers out of 70, loaded on both the buses would be having their killers meet them in the midway in Mastung, a well-known district head quarter some miles away from Quetta.
The two buses were stopped by six men in the dark, thought they would be police searching the buses, and told us to get out of the bus, an aged man told reporters in Civil Hospital Quetta.
“I don’t know what was their language because we were stress and couldn’t judge them, now I can’t lie about their language”, he says.
The passengers were searched and asked to show their Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) citizenship cards, a necessity to be in one’s pocket in Pakistan. Twenty five of the passengers were singled out and taken away in the dark, “five of them were released, rest of them were fired on with automatic weapons”, told an injured driver on stretcher in the hospital.
They asked my name; “I spoke with them in Balochi, so they took me to the side and a single man started firing on all of them in the mountains”, says a eye witness, who’s a Pashtun. “I had my family, three ladies, and several other ladies in the back seats, only men were taken out”.
Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti talking to media confirmed the killing of passengers and connected the incident with the Research and Analysis Wing, an Indian spy agency.
Home Secretary Akber Durrani told reporters that the bus was from Pishin, neither Shia nor settlers were on board, and 19 of the passengers are killed, one severely injured, Levies, a local tribal force is put on to go back after the militants.
Abdul Khaliq, a relative of injured Muhammad Yaqoob Barakzai, from Pishin told that his brother had called him that for God sake contact security forces because they were fired upon by unknown gunmen in Mastung. “We contacted whoever we could and were hurry, now we got him he’s having several bullets been through his right arm, thanks God he’s alive because 19 of his fellow passengers were all killed”.
The families and relatives, citizens of Quetta, Pishin, Killa Abdullah, Chaman went on to sit-in in front of Governor and Chief Minister houses and chanted emotional slogans against government, security forces and the Baloch separatists.
“Three from our village, Hurramzai Saydan, Pishin are buried and we are on our way to homes”, told Ahsanullah Agha, a villager. “Two of them were the only bread winners of their families”.
The attack was claimed by United Baloch Army’s spokesperson Moreed Baloch claimed responsibility of the attack and called it a reaction to the ongoing security forces operation against Baloch separatists.
So far Baloch Republican Party (led by Brahmdagh Bugti), Baloch Liberation Army, Baloch Political leader who supports separatists movement Hyrbyair Marri have condemned the attack on Pashtun fellows, as well as Mehran Marri, a Baloch representative in the UN and younger son of Nawab Khairbakhsh Marri.
Balochistan chief minister Dr. Malik Baloch called an All Parties Conference in Quetta to be held in next week, he was accompanied by the opposition and Jamiat e Ulama Islam leader, Maulana Abdul Wasay, Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party’s Abdul Rahim Ziaratwa, Awami National Party’s Zamarak Khan Achakzai, Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti and several other MPAs gathered in Chief Minister House.
Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party and Traders Union (Anjuman e Tajaran) had called for strike where’s the government announced three days official mourning.
It’s very destructive sign, because Baloch are having only Pashtuns as a neutral population siding them morally, told Salam Sabir Baloch, a former Baloch Students Organization (Azad) leader. “Pashtun and Baloch are remained as brother, harmony never went from among them; it’s now a try to separate them and even possibly align them”.