More than 100 people lost their lives in Quetta, in a recent attack on the ethnic Hazaras. Killings of innocents is an everyday occurrence in Pakistan and it seems that people have become so insensitive that no protest is witnessed anywhere in Pakistan except few small demonstrations in some parts by human rights activists or fellow Shias.

This exposes internal divisions in Pakistani society which has been radicalised to its core in the last three decades. State propagation and full support to armed groups of ultra right militant version of Islam has torn Pakistani society to irreparable extent. Institutional Indoctrination of young through web of religious seminaries across Pakistan has given this divide a permanent and long lasting shape. Since the bout is between the violent and non-violent ideological interpretations, the situation is bound to create reactionaries which would further complicate the situation.

Role of the state institutions has been very ineffective and it looks like as if the elements inside state’s security apparatus are in a state of absolute denial. The geographical location of the city is such that any effective, serious government can easily monitor all entry and exit points in order to keep the rogue elements in check. The historical and traditional political powers in the city have been of left leaning nature.

Sectarian violence originated from ultra right ideology which seems alien to tolerant cultural political tradition of the town. Conservative religious interpretation has also enjoyed some influence in Balochistan since the days of the British Raj but always operated within the traditional cultural values of the city. Violence as a tool to gain control over the city appears anarchist in nature and absolutist in objective. In the light of Supreme Court verdict it looks as if there is no defacto state authority inside Balochistan therefore forces of absolutism, anarchism and extremism are ruling the town.

The solution lies in strong political will to cleanse the city from ultra right violent debauchery of imposing their version of religion through guns. The state apathy to tackle this situation is also tarnishing the image of the country abroad. These incidents should be a wakeup call for the authorities to take necessary measures to safe guard life and property of ordinary Pakistanis.

MALIK ATIF MAHMOOD MAJOKA,

Australia, January 13.