Friday, 30 December 2011

Another Balochi doctor assassinated

Dr Baqir's funeral in Jecobabad earlier today
The assassination campaign continues in Balochistan, most recently with the murder of Dr Baqir Shah yesterday in Quetta. Shah, a prominent police surgeon, conducted the postmortems on five foreigners - four Russians and a Tajik, including two women - who were shot dead by police and soldiers from the Frontier Corps in Kharotabad on 17 May. The security forces at first insisted that all five had been killed by the explosion of a hand grenade in their possession, but Dr Shah's examination proved that they had all been killed by bullets fired by the security forces themselves. The Russian and Tajik embassies both declared that their nationals had been innocent of any crime.
There had been signs that Dr Shah was in danger. Following his postmortem on the five people killed in May, he was badly beaten by a group of ten men dressed in police uniforms, who attempted to abduct him. He later issued a statement that he had received threats to his life, saying he had been pressurised to change his postmortem report.
Dr Shah was the third prominent Balochi doctor to have been killed in the last three months, prompting strikes and walk-outs by colleagues across the province. Two further doctors remain missing. The slain doctor was on his way home from Bolan Medical Complex hospital, where he worked, when two men opened fire from point blank range at his head. He was taken to Bolan Medical Complex Hospital in his car where he was pronounced dead.
His assistant, Abdul Hameed Mengal, the only witness, who was sitting in the car, told the police that when  Dr. Shah slowed his car close to his house, one of the two gunmen rushed towards him and  started firing. Both assassins covered their faces and escaped on motorcycle.
The Baloch Doctors’ Forum (BDF) strongly condemned the killing of  Dr Shah saying the incident was part of the ongoing “government-sponsored cycle of targeted assaults on Baloch doctors”.
The BDF called an emergency meeting for today (Friday) and also announced a strike in hospitals all over Balochistan in protest against Dr Shah's killing. Out-patient departments will remain closed for an indefinite period.

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