Quetta, June 8 (Agencies): At least 11 police recruits were killed and nine others wounded today when gunmen on motorcycles rode past and opened fire on their vehicle in Quetta, police said.
“Two unidentified assailants opened fire on the wagon from different sides and killed 11 police trainees,” a senior police official said. “All victims were Shias, from the Hazara tribe,” he added. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, which came after a relative lull in sectarian killings in the past several months. In February gunmen shot dead two Shias in Karachi.
Brigadier Javed Iqbal Cheema, a senior interior ministry official, said there was no immediate information on the motive for the killings, but said, “It was an act of terrorism”.
Pervez slams hardliners
In his boldest-yet swipe at Pakistan’s resurgent Islamic hard-line groups, President Pervez Musharraf today said he wants his country to be “progressive and dynamic”, not a state ruled by Taliban-style Islamic laws.
While rejecting the Opposition demand to quit as chief of army saying it was essential for him to continue in both posts in the best national interests, he criticised the Islamist alliance Muttahida Majlis-e- Amal for attempting to bring Taliban-style laws in the country.
Musharraf derided some steps taken in the north west frontier province, where the ruling Islamic alliance last week passed a Bill instituting Shariat, or Islamic law. Hard-line supporters also attacked a circus, part of an effort to fight “obscenity.” “They are attacking circuses and ransacking billboards. What is this'” he said.
“Do we need a Talibanised Pakistan' Do we need the Taliban’s Islam'” Musharraf told a gathering of lawyers in Lahore. “We need a progressive and dynamic Pakistan.”
Further, he said he wanted time to quit as chief of army, but circumstances now warranted his continuation.