Quetta Carnage: Who exactly is Pakistan supposed to be fighting?
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2016-08-11 04:25:24

Quetta Carnage: Who exactly is Pakistan supposed to be fighting?

A suicide bomber targeted the emergency services ward at Quetta’s Civil Hospital Monday, killing at least 93 people leaving scores injured. Two journalists, Mehmood Khan and Shahzad Khan lost their lives reporting on the protest where the attacker struck. CM Balochistan Minister Sanaullah Zehri was quick to blame RAW for the attack. Strange that such clear intelligence was gathered so swiftly. IS Khurasan has claimed the attack according to reports. The contradiction is terrifying in its implications of our understanding of the war on terror in our country. Who exactly are we supposed to be fighting? What happened in Quetta on Monday was indicative of intelligence failure. Combined with an abysmal inefficiency on the part of the civilian set up this led to one of the worst terrorist incidents in Balochistan’s history with over 70 dead and 100 injured. Gunning down Balochistan bar association president and soon after attacking the crowd of lawyers who had gathered inside the hospital to retrieve his dead body shows a well-coordinated plan on the part of the terrorists. It would not have succeeded if there was an efficient security system in the hospital to bar the entry of explosives or suicide bombers. Instead of a proactive approach to terrorism, the agencies and the government have developed a reactive approach promising action against terrorists after they have done the harm. Balochistan’s long history of violence and conflict is rarely paid attention to in the rest of the country. While separatist fires blazing in the province are placed in dialectic of centre-province grievances, sectarian attacks are more the result of the militant infrastructure that for long has been quite strong in Pakistan. Militant sectarian organisations such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi have spread their sectarian poison in the province and targeted innocent civilians. Even the notorious Quetta Shura gets its name from allegedly being based in Quetta although it is true that it is spread all over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. The security crisis in Balochistan must also be understood under the broader rubric of chronic underdevelopment in the province. Those living in abject poverty are naturally susceptible to extremist narratives, and this is the socioeconomic class that extremists rely on for both their recruitment and their support. Hence, economic uplift programmes are necessary in Balochistan for the sake of its people. In the grander sense, the tragedy exposes the realisation that the new era of militancy in Pakistan is less anti-state and more anti-society in nature. While terrorism fifty years ago used to focus on state targets, over time, mass killing of civilians has become the easy way out for militants across the board. The most appalling aspect is the lack of guilt or value for human life and we are all to share the blame for this, from the man with the suicide jacket to the state, and the intelligence agencies.

 

pk.shafaqna.com

 

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