Quetta Terrorism: Is national action plan has become inaction plan?
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2015-10-21 15:50:52

Quetta Terrorism: Is national action plan has become inaction plan?

Q

 

 

A bomb explosion on a bus in the Pakistani city of Quetta has killed at least 11 people and wounded a further 22, police say. A senior police official in the western city told that the device was planted on the roof of the vehicle. The blast comes at a time of relatively diminished violence in Pakistan. No-one has said they carried out the attack.Balochistan province suffers from separatist, sectarian and Islamist insurgencies. Reports suggest that most of the passengers on the bus were poor labourers returning from work — which may indicate that they were targeted for being something other than ethnic Baloch, but thus far nobody is claiming responsibility. There are at least three separate violent strands to the many afflictions of Balochistan. The religious extremists of varying adherences, the separatist groups that are far from united themselves, and as a subset of the separatists, the avowedly sectarian groups. This adds up to a complex environment of competing and conflicting groups, all of which have the common purpose of wreaking havoc among those least able to protect themselves, the most vulnerable and the poorest end of society as a whole. Violence of all shades has indeed come down in Balochistan after the National Action Plan was launched earlier this year. Before this, however, there was a constant cycle of violence in the province. For example, the two major sectarian bombings of 2013 — which targeted members of the Shia Hazara community — claimed over 200 lives between them. Moreover, separatist violence was also widespread, with ‘settlers’, migrant workers and personnel of law-enforcement agencies being routinely targeted. And while much of the sectarian and separatist violence has been contained, as Monday’s tragedy shows disruptive elements still have the capacity to cause harm in Balochistan. It must also be considered that this is a highly sensitive time of the year across the country, with Ashura just around the corner. The authorities, including the Balochistan administration, have said they have taken extensive steps to secure Muharram-related events. Yet the bus explosion points to the fact that loopholes exist in the security plan. The administration will need to redouble its efforts in order to keep the peace as the climax of Muharram approaches, especially considering that even localised acts of sectarian violence or terrorism have the potential to destabilise the rest of the country. In the longer term, the government of Balochistan must review counterterrorism efforts across the province. The authorities ought not to be complacent and should in fact build on whatever progress has been achieved thus far. 

pk.shafaqna.com

 

 

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