The crazed mob that attacked an Ahmedi mosque in a village close to Chakwal has gotten what it wanted. While the police, Rangers and FC personnel guard some of the families, and 32 have been in arrested in connection to the attack (the mob numbered in the thousands), families from the Ahmedi community have already started leaving the village, for fear of further attacks against them.

This should not come as a surprise. The persecution of the Ahmedi community has often led to them having to leave their homes and possessions behind in a bid to save themselves from potential attacks such as this. And no one can blame them – when the state fails, one must do something on their own. Sadly, leaving is the only option the minorities often have and it’s not an easy thing to do.

And while the law enforcement agencies have awoken from their slumber – arrests are being made (more need to be made and faster, though), security is being provided and investigations are being carried out – this is exactly why preventing an incident is more important than reacting to it. If the police had stepped in and prevented the attack from taking place, the Ahmedi community would have greater confidence in their abilities and would not be leaving everything that they love behind, which is incidentally, exactly what the mob wanted.

And that means that the police fails on two counts; not only did it fail to protect the community, but also that the community will no longer trust the law enforcement agencies with their lives or property ever again. A state’s prime responsibility is to look after the security of all of its citizens, and not just the majority – a majority that single-mindedly attacked an entire community to take over their mosque. Sunni supremacists are used to getting their way through use of force. If the government is even the least bit interested in ensuring that this country is for all Pakistanis, and not just one for the most violent elements of a certain sect, then we must collectively stop letting our minorities down.