QUETTA - The government will not hold talks with those militants in Balochistan who are bent upon carrying out terrorism, rather they will be responded in the same coin, Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali declared.

Nisar was in Balochistan to review the security situation after Saturday’s militant strikes at the historical Jinnah residency in Ziarat and Quetta’s bus and hospital bombings as the death toll rose to 26.

Police on Sunday said it was a woman suicide bomber of banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) who carried out the first attack in Quetta on a university bus carrying women students and teachers. Later, her male accomplices struck Bolan Medical Complex, where many of the bus bombing victims were taken for treatment.

The LeJ claimed responsibility for both these attacks. Abu Bakar Siddique, a spokesman of the LeJ, telephoned the Quetta Press Club and said the attacks were carried out in response to a raid of security forces against at their men in Kharotabad area last week.

Meanwhile, identity of 7 out of 14 deceased students of Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University had been confirmed as Abida Malik, Riyana Aurangzaib, Sunam, Noorul Ain, Shugafta, Sadaf and Atia while identity of other bodies was yet to be confirmed since they were completely disfigured. Slain Deputy Commissioner Abdul Mansoor Kakar and some other victims were laid to rest in Quetta and moving scenes were witnessed when their confines brought to graveyards.

Balochistan observed day of mourning on Sunday and the national flag flew at half-mast over official buildings against the brutal killing of 14 female students, Quetta Deputy Commissioner, four nurses, four security personnel, one doctor and a passer-by in the Saturday’s attacks. Civil society groups and traders’ associations too observed the day and most of Quetta was shut down to protest the attacks.

On the call of PkMAP and Anjuman-e-Tajiran Balochistan, a complete shutter-down strike was observed in the city. All shopping centres, business malls and markets at Jinnah Road, Liaquat Bazaar, Brewery Road, Zarghoon Road and other parts of the city remained shut throughout the day while traffic plying on the roads was thin. Balochistan Nursing Federation and doctors also announced three-day mourning against the attack and killing of their colleagues at Bolan Medical Complex Hospital.

The case of the incidents was registered in Brewery police station under Anti-Terrorist Act. Police sources said that total four suicide blasts occurred and the first suicide bomber was a female who entered into the campus disguised as a student and blew up her explosive vest after embarking into the bus. Three suicide bombers exploded themselves in BMC. Due to blasts the hospital’s operation theatre, electricity system and lifts were badly damaged.

After paying visit to Ziarat to inspect Quaid-e-Azam’s residency which was burnt to ashes by militants of the so-called Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), Ch Nisar held a meeting at CM Secretariat in Quetta where reportedly some important decisions were taken to improve the security situation in the restive province.

Accompanied by Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, National Party leader Hasil Khan Bezenjo and PKMAP leader Abdur Rahim Ziaratwal, Nisar told the media that these decisions would be announced later after approval of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. But he shared that one these decision was to rebuild Quaid’s residency in Ziarat. He said that team of experts would soon visit Ziarat to determine the time for complete restoration of the national monument. He said he has directed interior ministry to approach provincial government for protection of all national monuments; otherwise, federal government was ready to do it on its own.

He said PML-N-led governments at centre and in two provinces, Balochistan and Punjab, had clear basic principle of pursuing negotiations for restoring peace. They still stand for their commitment for bringing the angry people in Balochistan round by holding talks, he said.

But he made it clear that negotiation would be held with only those who were willing to do so, and not with those who were bent upon militancy and terrorism. They in fact, will be responded in the same coin, he added.

Nisar asked the media people to observe self-censorship and keep in view the national interests while doing their duty. He said, “It is warlike situation and I appeal to journalists to be careful in reporting news, which may be a ‘breaking one’ for them but may harm national interests.” He announced a gallantry award for Deputy Commission Quetta Abdul Mansoor Kakar, who lost his life in hospital shoot out.

He said he was visiting Balochistan under the direction of the prime minister to convey the full assurances of the federal government’s support and condole with the people of Balochistan, particularly the victim families. The minister said a high-level meeting would be held in Islamabad on June 20 in which important decisions would be taken and later announced. He said these decisions would definitely have positive impact on the lives of the people of the country.

Meanwhile, unidentified assailants gunned down three policemen in Qila Saifullah. According to sources, a group of armed men ambushed a check-post at Ragha Bakalzai in Qila Saifullah district and opened indiscriminate fire with sophisticated weapons killing three personnel on the spot. “The attackers also took away official Kalashnikovs of the cops before fleeing the area,” sources said.

In another incident, armed men kidnapped three persons from Dasht area in Mastung. Sources said Mehrullah Magsi, a close relative of former Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, along with his two relatives was on his way to Quetta from Jhal Magsi. They reportedly went missing when they entered Dasht.

Sources said Mehrullah was coming to Quetta to receive body of his daughter who was killed in the Saturday’s attack.