Daily Archives: July 19, 2018

In Balochistan, Dying Hopes for Peace

Increasing attacks by the Islamic State in Balochistan are connected to Pakistan’s failed strategy of encouraging and using Islamist militants to crush Baloch rebels and separatists.

By Malik Siraj Akbar

Mr. Akbar is a journalist from Balochistan.

On Friday, several hundred tribesmen and students from religious seminaries gathered at a public meeting in Mastung, a town in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, to hear Siraj Raisani, a 55-year-old politician from the Balochistan Awami Party.

As he appeared on stage wearing dark sunglasses, the crowd cheered, whistled and raised their hands, in a gesture affirming their loyalty to him. “O! Brave people of Balochistan!” said Mr. Raisani, who was known and feared for his strong ties to the Pakistani military. Before he could utter a second sentence, a suicide bomber blew himself up near the stage. The explosion killed Mr. Raisani and 149 of his supporters, and injured 186 others.

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