The murder of a Professor
Unidentified persons gunned down the acting pro-vice chancellor of Balochistan University on Tuesday outside his residence in Sariab Road, police confirmed.
Mohammad Akbar, Capital City Police Officer, told his blog that Professor Dr. Safdar Kiyani was taking a routine walk outside his residence on Sariab Road when unidentified persons riding a motorcycle fired three shots on his head and back. Consequently, Kiyani, who was serving as the acting pro-vice chancellor of Balochistan University, died on the spot. Kiyani, Dean of Students’ Affairs, was a Botany professor and was tipped to be appointed as the vice chancellor of the university.
The firing incident took place at around 19:00pm near Sariab Road’s Green Town, where the professor’s house is located. Sources in the university said Kiyani belonged to District Rahim Yar Khan of the Punjab province. Holding a PhD in Botany, he joined the University of Balochistan in 1979-80. It was learnt that he was in the final stages of being appointed as the vice chancellor of the University of Balochistan. He is survived by 3 sons and one daughter.
The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), a banned Baloch separatist group, claimed responsibility for the killing of the professor.
Bibarg Baloch, a spokesman for the BLA, which has been engaged in target killing of Punjabi-speaking professionals, told me last night that his organization accepted responsibility for the killing.
“The professor was working as a spy for the ISI (Inter-Service Intelligence) and some other agencies to provide disinformation about the Baloch people,” said the spokesman, adding that the BLA had been warning him to concentrate on his job rather than spying for the intelligence agencies. “We told me since you are professor you should confine your activities to the university alone. But he did not pay heed to the warnings and continued his ‘objectionable’ activities.”Since the killing of a former Baloch governor and chief minister, Nawab Mohammad Akbar Khan Bugti, in August 2006, differences between Baloch and Punjabi ethnic communities in Balochistan have dramatically intensified.
The underground BLA has repeatedly warned the Punjabis to leave Balochistan as it holds them responsible of having links with the military and the intelligence agencies. On their part, the Punjabis argue that they have been living in Balochistan for several generations and they have no where to go but to live in Balochistan.
BLA has refused to talk to the newly inducted provincial government in Quetta despite an offer by Nawab Mohamamd Aslam Raisani, the new chief minister of the province, to sit on negotiation table.
The BLA spokesman also claimed to have killed eleven army personnel in Dera Bugti district in three different incidents of landmine blasts. However, there was no confirmation by the government of landmine blasts.
While the Balochistan governor and chief minister have strongly condemned the killing of the senior professor, the University of Balochistan as well as the other universities would remain shut for three days to mourn the killing of Dr. Kiyani.