In the inhospitable terrain of Balochistan, perennially outside Islamabad’s shrinking circle of control, marauding gangs have made it a habit of targeting people even on days of celebration. It was so with Maharaj Lakhmi Chand Garji, the 82-year-old head priest of the ancient Kali Mata Mandir in the town of Kalat. On December 17 last year, he and four of his companions were driving down the RCD (Regional Cooperation for Development) highway, on their way to attend a wedding in Khuzdar. A vehicle began tailing them. Finally, 100 km away from Surab, it shot past them on the deserted stretch of the highway, only to menacingly manoeuvre so as to bring Garji’s vehicle to a screeching halt.
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