COAS to attend Raisani’s funeral as death toll reaches 131 | Pakistan Today

COAS to attend Raisani’s funeral as death toll reaches 131

  • Siraj Raisani’s brother calls for formation of truth commission investigate attack

QUETTA: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in Quetta on Saturday to attend the funeral prayers of Nawab Siraj Raisani who was among the 131 people who lost their lives in a suicide blast in Mastung.

A suicide blast ripped through a crowd at a political rally in Mastung on Friday, killing 128 including younger brother of former Balochistan chief minister Aslam Raisani and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) candidate, Nawabzada Siraj Raisani. One more injured in the hospital died on Saturday morning after which the death toll reached to 131.

COAS General Bajwa is also expected to visit the injured of the blast being treated at CMH in Quetta.

Funeral prayers for Siraj Raisani will be held later in the day on Saturday after which he will be laid to rest in Kanak Mastung.

The federal government has announced one-day mourning nationwide on Sunday, while the Balochistan government announced two-days of mourning in the province following the attack.

The blast is the latest in a string of attacks that have spurred fears of violence ahead of nationwide polls on July 25. Authorities said the suicide bomber detonated in the middle of a compound where the political meeting was taking place.

One political worker, Salam Baloch, said he heard a “deafening blast” and saw a “thick grey ball of fire and smoke”.

“People put bodies and the injured in rickshaws and other vehicles and rushed them to the hospital before rescue officials arrived,” he added.

Emergency workers also shuttled victims in ambulances as bystanders sobbed in the darkness due to the lack of electricity in the impoverished area.

Survivors in blood-smeared clothes were taken to hospitals in Mastung and nearby Quetta, where they were greeted by tense crowds of mourners. The deceased could be seen covered in shrouds.

Meanwhile, Siraj Raisani’s brother on Saturday called for the formation of a truth commission to investigate the attack.

While talking to media, Lashkari Raisani demanded the formation of a truth commision to investigate all government made policies dating back to General Ziaul Haq’s time period.

“Those who make policies are responsible and answerable. These [terrorist attacks] are a consequence of incorrect policies,” he said.

“If the [policy-makers] genuinely shared in our grief, they would have reversed their policies. But they didn’t. We are still burying our dead.”

“I demand a truth commission, not a reconciliation commission, but a truth commission to investigate [the incidents],” he added.

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