The recent attacks on police officers and Hazara community in Quetta has highlighted two major phenomenon taking place in the Province. First is that Balochistan as a province has not witnessed a decline in extremism. The second is that the persecution of the religious minorities in the Province is still not being addressed.
It was the fourth terrorist killing of innocent people and Police officers in Quetta within a week. Two of the incidents were related targeting to sectarian killing while the two is targeting Police officer’s.
However while it is true that major areas has seen a decrease in these attacks, these statistics completely negate the province of Balochistan where the attacks have been rampant in the last year. During 2017 a total of five attacks took place in the province resulting in the death of 73 people with another 166 injured. There is growing influence of Islamic State (IS) in the region as well. The group was able to gun down two Chinese nationals in Quetta last year.
If we consider the second phenomenon, then Pakistan as a country has still not reached a point where it accepts the persecution of religious minorities in the country. Attacks on the minorities are often mislabeled as attempts to disrupt festive activities and not specific targeted action against a particular group.
The sectarian killing of Hazara tribesmen started some three decades ago following sharp differences with the clerical Government in Iran or the late spiritual leader allegedly tried to export Islamic revolution to Pakistan and other neighboring countries, some observers claimed.
There is no let- up in the killings to this date. Brother and sister on motorcycle were targeted and killed on the spot at the Spiny Road of Quetta remained a target point for against the shittes . Five other persons belonging to Hazara tribes were shot and injured. All the four incidents of target killings were reported in less than six weeks.
The irony of fate is that the Government and its institutions were found least interested in properly investigating the target killing of human beings—all innocent and law abiding citizens of Pakistan. To this date, more than 2000 people were killed on sectarian basis in the past three decades.
Not a single criminal and target killer was brought to justice to this date. Some of them were killed and their identities were disclosed only after they were gunned down in encounters or raids at their hideouts. It shows the interest of the Government of the day and its institutions responsible for securing the life and property of all the citizens of Pakistan without any discrimination.
On the contrary, there were few highly responsible police officers who made sincere efforts on their own and chased the terrorists in Quetta and its surrounding.
They did their best as part of their official and national duty. Most of them were killed for making their chase very hot and they were closed to bust those gangs of target killers particularly involved in sectarian killing.
Residence located in maximum security zone of the senior most police officers was attacked using car bomb in a bid to kill them and their entire family. They were reportedly close to a case of target killing and act of terrorism and about to bust the gang when they were attacked.
It is more shocking that the senior police officer was discriminated by his superior, mainly the police chief, denying him an alternate and a safer house within the police residential complex showing deep contempt to his competency and honest service to the people and the country.
Pakistan is targeted by the neighboring countries, including Iran, of massive propaganda campaign that the Government had failed to curb the incident of sectarian killing, mainly the people belonging to Hazara shitee community in Quetta and its surrounds.
The Government and its institutions should take more interest in curbing the activities of the sectarian terrorism and give importance to the life and property of Hazara Tribes and consider all of them as peace-loving and patriotic citizens of Pakistan.