It has come to a point that VVIPs are not just draining taxpayer money and luxuriating on what could help many in poverty and misery, they are also causing mass deaths and destruction.

Chief Minister of Sindh, Murad Ali Shah should be appreciated for his honesty in divulging information regarding the Sehwan attack on February 16. The fact that the CM conceded that there was a security lapse as police was diverted towards the protection of a VVIP should not be taken lightly. Politicians in Pakistan normally have a penchant for deflecting responsibility from the government when mistakes are made, and this change of pace should be applauded for its refreshing honesty. But merely conceding to a security lapse is not enough.

That police personnel that should have been in Sehwan were diverted to protect a VVIP is beyond abhorrent – a clear admission that in the eyes of the state, some individuals are worth more than the lives of hundreds. Those present at the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine might have been saved had there been more security personnel at hand, or at least the extent of the damage could have been limited. But one person’s heedless selfishness led to a catastrophe, and for this, heads must roll.

The CM has not mentioned who this VVIP is and he must do so immediately. We deserve answers, and the government of Sindh should continue this newfound streak of honesty and bring the public into confidence. After that, strict action must be taken against the said person, and such callous disregard for national resources must be made an example of.

Clearly, there are still elements within government (both elected and unelected officials) that see themselves as more valuable than the masses, and see the law as beneath them. This is not the first incident where lives have been lost as a direct consequence of the actions of an individual wielding influence.

The CM is right; there is precious little the government can do sometimes – having a thousand bed hospital in Sehwan for instance, is just not possible at the moment. But this security lapse, and the CM himself is blaming it for the attack, was entirely avoidable. The blame for this tragedy falls firmly on the shoulders of whoever decided to remove the security detail at the shrine, as well as the person who was too good for ordinary protection.

81 people lost their lives in this incident, and if even one of these deaths could have been prevented by the presence of the security detail that was supposed to be in place, the VVIP in question has a lot to answer for.