Nationwide strike in Pakistan

The strike has been called to protest the killing of prominent Balochistan leader Akbar Khan Bugti.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2006 13:34 IST

Pakistan opposition parties enforced a nationwide strike on Friday to protest the killing of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti as authorities in southwest Balochistan braced for violence during the funeral of the Baloch leader whose body was dug out late last night from a demolished cave.

The strike call was given by the All Party Conference, (APC) which asked people to observe a complete strike to protest against the killing of Bugti in a military operation.

The APC meeting on Thursday was attended by members of the moderate Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD) and Islamist Muthahida Majlis Amal (MMA).

It asked the people to observe Friday as Black Day and express a complete solidarity with the people of Balochistan.

The strike began this morning with the news that Bugti's body has been retrieved by a team of army engineers who excavated the collapse cave.

Thousands of security forces were deployed in Dera Bugti where the funeral will take place on Friday.

Reports from Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, said the city and province has come to a standstill with complete shut down.

Local TV networks reported that bus and other transport services were off the roads. The government made heavy deployment of security forces in the city to prevent untoward incidents.

The strike was being observed in Islamabad and Lahore. Markets in the two cities were shut down and transport services off the roads.

First Published: Sep 01, 2006 11:52 IST