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Nationalist Leader Shot Dead In Pakistan's Baluchistan Province

July 15, 2010

QUETTA, Pakistan -- Former Pakistani lawmaker and nationalist leader Habib Jalib was shot dead on July 14 in Pakistan's southern city of Quetta, RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal reports.

The attack on Jalib, the general-secretary of the Baluchistan National Party, came amid an increase in targeted killings in Quetta.

Police and other Pakistani law-enforcement agencies have blamed armed Baluch nationalist groups for most of the Quetta killings. Most of the victims have been Punjabis, Pakistan's ruling ethnic group.

Jalib's Baluchistan National Party announced a 40-day period of mourning in the province after his killing, which took place outside his home. The party also called for three days of strikes.

Shops and schools were closed soon after Jalib's assassination and his party workers staged a protest.

Radio Mashaal reported that Quetta police fired into the air and used tear gas on protesters as they tried to take Jalib's body to the provincial governor's house and chief minister's house in their protest.

Jalib was buried today in his home village in Baluchistan.

Jalib, who was educated in Moscow, was elected to the Pakistani senate in 1997.

He had opposed Pakistan's ongoing military operations in Baluchistan.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has condemned Jalib's killing. He has called on Baluchistan's chief minister, Mohammad Aslam Raisani, to launch a judicial inquiry into the assassination.

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/Nationalist_Leader_Shot_Dead_In_Pakistans_Baluchistan_Province/2100401.html

Copyright (c) 2010. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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