Targeting Police

Published on – May 15, 2019 – 4:00 am
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Another attack in Quetta; yet more policemen targeted and killed. The sickening pattern of violence in Balochistan is too public and clear for state officials to simply try and foist blame on unnamed external actors. At Least four personnel of Rapid Response Group RRG have been killed and 11 including civilians injured after an IED blast hit police mosque at Quetta’s Satellite Town on Monday night.


Another attack in Quetta; yet more policemen targeted and killed. The sickening pattern of violence in Balochistan is too public and clear for state officials to simply try and foist blame on unnamed external actors. At Least four personnel of Rapid Response Group RRG have been killed and 11 including civilians injured after an IED blast hit police mosque at Quetta’s Satellite Town on Monday night.

Two mobiles of Police Force were guarding mosque during Travih prayers near Satellite Town mini market when an improvised explosive device exploded killing four RRG personnel, “Unknown terrorists fitted IED inside a motorbike and parked near Masjid ul Huda, the explosive device exploded when police mobiles reached outside the mosque.” DIG Abdul Razzaq Cheema said confirmed eleven people including civilians sustained injured in the attack.

There is simply no excuse for why a militant can infiltrate the area, reach his target and detonate explosives without being identified and stopped.
Quetta and the wider province have suffered violence that has ebbed and flowed too many times for the usual explanations to be tolerated.
Presumably, the main reason could be that the police force is the most effective force reaching their hideouts through investigations using human intelligence. Police is the frontline defence of the people against terrorists and the criminals.

Earlier, unidentified gunmen opened indiscriminate firing on a Traffic Police Sergeant in Mastung Bazaar killing him on the spot on Sunday.
According to details, unknown persons riding on motorbike targeted Traffic Police Sergeant Muhammad Hanif killing on the spot. The Government and the security forces made serious and untiring efforts to make Quetta city safe and secure from the terrorists. However, the efforts could not bore fruits to this date and the terrorists continue to operate in this seat of the Balochistan Government with relative impunity attacking the targets they chose.

Presumably, the purpose is to demoralize the police force so that the terrorists are not chased. It is not a valid argument that the terrorists are coming from Afghanistan all the time attacking the people and security officials. A murky security strategy in Balochistan appears to have made accountability all but impossible. Who is responsible for the consistent lapses and why is it that the only thing that appears horribly certain in Balochistan is that more attacks will occur?

The targeting of policemen is a particularly deadly terrorist tactic. In the province, where the state has been hollowed out by attacking officials over the years to discourage others from serving in the province, there is a desperate shortage of skills at all tiers of the private and public sectors.
The worse that shortage is made and the more others are deterred from serving in the region, the less Balochistan will be able to reverse its abysmal socioeconomic indicators.

And that will surely help consign Balochistan to many more years of deprivation and violence  a cycle that the security establishment appears to have no real answer to. Without recognising that a militarised security strategy in Balochistan has failed to produce adequate results in a province that is beset by a range of security challenges, Balochistan cannot begin to find answers to a complex, layered security threat. At the moment, it is not clear what strategy the state has to respond to this latest wave of violence.

But what there is no doubt about is that dangerous terrorist outfits have been able to remain operational in Quetta and beyond it in other parts of Balochistan. There are as yet no signs the situation in Balochistan is drawing to an end. In the troubled province of Balochistan, there are clearly many different strands of conflict – not all of which require the same solution. This is a problem we need to tackle if there is ever to be anything resembling peace and calm in our land.