Assassination overshadows Krishna visit (Pakistan Diary)

July 15th, 2010 - 12:24 pm ICT by IANS  

By M.R. Narayan Swamy
Islamabad, July 15 (IANS) The assassination of a Baloch leader and retaliatory street violence all over Balochistan overshadowed the visit by Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna to Pakistan.

Splashed on Thursday’s front pages of newspapers was the killing of Habib Jalib Baloch, general secretary of the Balochistan National Party, who was shot dead Wednesday outside his Quetta residence by unidentified men on a motorcycle.

The incident sparked widespread violence in Balochistan, Pakistan’s biggest but most backward province, leading to closure of highways, businesses and educational institutions as well as attacks on security forces.

Pakistani authorities routinely accuse India of promoting violence in Balochistan.

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India media swarms Islamabad

A mini army of 52 Indian journalists has arrived in Islamabad to cover the talks between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan.

The external affairs ministry has set up a huge media centre at Hotel Serena where Krishna and the Indian media are staying, matching arrangements normally seen only when the Indian prime minister travels abroad.

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Fortress Serena

Hotel Serena resembles a fortress, its sprawling complex crawling with armed policemen and high-rise iron barricades ensuring its safety from would be suicide bombers.

Until some time ago most Indian journalists normally stayed in Holiday Inn, renamed Islamabad Hotel, its original name.

But with a popular food court adjoining it, the hotel is now considered unsafe from the security point of view.

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