In less than two months Hazara community has buried more than 200 bodies. Sadly, Quetta is not the only place where Shiites have been targeted. In last two weeks more than ten Shiite doctors and lawyers were killed in Peshawar. This killing spree has been going on from Khyber to Karachi, and let me clarify, Punjab is no less affected. Recently, an eye surgeon with his 11 years old son was murdered and this is not the first incident in the area.
The history of sectarian killings goes back to 1960s to Khairpur, Sind where more than 200 Shiites were killed during a religious procession by unknown armed men. Since then we are trying to find these “unknown, armed men” but the state response in jejune.
During 5 decades the community has lost hundreds of professionals, scholars, leaders even women and children. Intelligence agencies, security forces, judiciaries and governments of each time have miserably failed in pointing out the reasons for these atrocities. Instead, we have seen the shift of blames on other institutions or on foreign forces from Interior Ministries and Intelligence agencies.
Our five-year democracy has turned out to be futile as long as the real issues are concerned. Fully aware of the situation, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira expressed that situation has not been so bad to prevent elections from being held. According to government, they have launched an operation against Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ); who has claimed the responsibility of attacks on Shiite; which resulted in more than 170 arrests.
Government has claimed to bring down some terrorists including the mastermind of the recent attack in one night. Here is the question, what magic led to the sudden arrests and shootouts in one night only? For last five years civil government has been shifting the blame on the Frontier Constabulary (FC), which controls 95% of the Baluchistan security.
On the other hand, Army has shifted the blame on civil government saying operation against terrorists can’t be launched until orders come from the Parliament. If civil government has failed in resolving Baluchistan’s issues, then what is the need of any democratic process in the first place? If the current operation under Army supervision fails, who would they call next to handle the terrorists activity?
Recently, defense Sec. of intelligence services shrugged off responsibility saying they did provide the report of huge chemical transfer from Lahore to Quetta. While, Interior Minister brushed off responsibility by shifting the blames on LEAs that they had already provided information on Quetta bloodshed and that there’s more to come in Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar. According to him, under 18th amendment, Interior Minister’s responsibility is to provide the information alone.
Majlis Wahdat-ul Muslemeen (MWM), a newly emerged group of Shiite has now claimed to be in charge of the protests carried out by the community around the country. However, these protests were called off unilaterally.
But many protestors showed a diffident towards MWM’s decision. They accepted the decision after reassuring promises from the government’s delegation. The question again is, what promises has the government made with MWM when the first blast had taken place in Quetta?
Recently, MWM has announced their participation in the upcoming election and are reportedly forming an alliance with PTI. Also that after the current incident they had exchanged fiery words with MQM on its stance towards protests. To elaborate, the MQM chief had asked to continue with the protests till Shiites see action instead of words.
In the meantime, Supreme Court Pakistan (SCP) has taken suo moto action on Quetta blasts. In recent hearing chief Justice asked, “We asked you to point out the elements who failed to perform duty and as a result of which the incident took place.”? The answer to this is, it is the failure of the government, where no inquiries were ever held for sectarian killings, failure of intelligence agencies that never bothered to uncover the real culprits of the sectarian killings that started from 1960s around the country. Along with it, the failure of Parliament that blinded itself to mass killings, and the SCP that has conveniently chosen to shut their eyes for the last 50years. Perhaps, if the killings continue at the same pace, there would be more mountains, trees and rivers than human beings.