There has been a wave of silence after the Quetta attack, unheard of in the aftermath of a tragedy of such scale. The Shia Hazara community in Pakistan has been the target of several attacks, however, no such attack has been identified as one of a sectarian nature and is perhaps one of the reasons why the security situation in Balochistan remains shabby. The last suicide attack was before the elections and the amount of time that has surpassed since then should have culminated into a strong response from the government and mainstream media. However, the mainstream media did not vehemently pursue the news story. This has resulted in a lack of debate over the sensitivity of the matter and further marginalisation of an already persecuted minority.

At the same time, such reporting is a disservice to the cause of security. Our security establishment has been able to take control of the situation in other provinces quite diligently but the matter of Balochistan is almost always brushed under the rug. This attack, in fact, resulted when a group of Hazara community was being escorted to the market place along with a security entourage. The fact that people of the community have to be accompanied by security personnel for their day to day matters shows that there is a lapse in the security situation and perhaps it is time that a special focus is granted to Balochistan. The people of the community stage sit-ins because the situation for them has not improved while living in their own country.

Another area for concern is the report which the Senate sought on the attack. Targeted killings against the Hazara community have been a known fact in the country for quite some time now. Another report will only acknowledge the fact rather than mobilising the intelligentsia and the armed forces to work out a plan of action specifically for the region of Balochistan, especially due to the sensitive state of matters in the province. Senator Rehman Malik also pointed out the possibility of external influences at the Senate meeting. In such a scenario, the efforts to take control of the situation should be doubled along with a concentrated effort from the federal and provincial governments to implement the National Action Plan (NAP). This incident will leave the FATF team with a lot of questions regarding Pakistan’s security situation. If those are to be removed, Balochistan demands attention.