Islamabad: Senior Baloch nationalist
leader and former parliamentarian Habib Jalib Baloch was today
assassinated by unidentified gunmen in Quetta city in
southwestern Pakistan, police said.
Three motorcycle-borne shot Baloch outside his home on
Sariab Road this morning, Deputy Inspector General of Police
Hamid Shakil told reporters.
Witnesses said Baloch, a former member of the Senate
or upper house of parliament and secretary general of the
Balochistan National Party (Mengal group), was shot when he
came out of the house.
Baloch was rushed to a nearby hospital where he
succumbed to his injuries, doctors said.
The gunmen fled after the incident, police said.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Police said the assassination might be the latest in a
series of targeted killings that has rocked Quetta, the
capital of Balochistan province, over the past two years.
BNP activists organised protests in Quetta and other
parts of Balochistan on learning of Baloch`s killing.
Angry protesters blocked Jinnah Road, the main
thoroughfare in Quetta, by burning tyres and forcibly closed
shops and business establishments across the city.
There were reports of protests in several other
cities, including Turbat, Mastung, Qalat, Hub, Bela and
Khuzdar. Authorities closed Balochistan University for two
days as a precautionary measure.
Police and paramilitary forces were put on alert in
sensitive areas following the protests, officials said.
A large number of BNP workers and Baloch`s relatives
rushed to the Civil Hospital where he died. Footage on
television showed them weeping near his body.
Baloch was elected a member of the Senate in 1997. He
served as a member of several parliamentary standing
A lawyer by profession, Baloch had studied in Russia
and backed a peaceful struggle for the rights of the Baloch
people. He started his political career during his days as a
He was highly respected by the political leadership of
Pakistan and the people in Balochistan.
Baloch`s BNP party says it believes in a peaceful and
democratic struggle for the people of Balochistan to attain
the right of self-determination.