According to a new report compiled and published by the Balochistan Youth and Civil Society, at least 51 were killed and over 289 were injured in 179 road accidents in different areas of Balochistan. The report comes in the wake of a deadly accident on the Zhob National Highway on Wednesday when a passenger van plunged into a ravine, killing 22 of its occupants.
The report claims that at least 86 road accidents occurred in Quetta, Mastung, Kalat, Khuzdar, Lasbela, Hub Chowki and a few other areas, killing 9 and wounding 150. 67 traffic accidents occurred in Qila Saifullah, Pishin, Zhob, Chaman, Loralai, Ziarat and a few other areas where dozens were killed and wounded. The report also mentions Wednesday’s deadly accident in Qila Saifullah that killed almost two dozen. Accidents in other areas killed 42 and wounded many times more.
Balochistan’s notorious highways have been nicknamed the “killer highways” by social media users for the sheer number of traffic accidents they witness on a daily basis. Over the past few years, thousands of accidents have occurred along these highways that have killed hundreds of individuals and left countless others with crippling, lifelong injuries. Activists have extensively campaigned for the repair and dualization of the highways, but to no avail. Governments – provincial and federal – have promised reforms time and again but the highways remain as deadly as ever.
In April this year, Pakistani premier Shehbaz Sharif arrived in Quetta to inaugurate the 303km Khuzdar-Kuchlak highway and promised to expedite developments in other areas of Balochistan as well. Sharif also directed the National Highway Authority to complete the 804km N-25 highway from Chaman to Karachi within a year. He said that the completion of the highway is one of the key demands of the people of Balochistan.