With recent killing of a senior police official, SP Muhammad Ilyas, the death toll of Balochistan Police in Quetta has risen above 20 in 2017. The systematic targeting of police officials in the conflict-ridden province is a question mark on the performance of law enforcement agencies. The worsening security situation in the area also brings down the towering claims the CM Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri, and the provincial interior minister Sarfaraz Bugti, about improved law and order situation in the area.

One wonders if the violence will ever come to an end? The irony in the present case is while PM was chairing the meeting to evaluate the law and order situation of Balochistan, a police officer was gunned down. The attack is the evidence of believing contrary to officials’ statements related to Balochistan’s peace and security situation.

The ever-deteriorating peace of the province needs a comprehensive plan. To eradicate the menace of terrorism, which the province is suffering from, all stakeholders need to sit together to find a durable solution for restoration of security and peace in Balochistan.

The streak of violent attacks against people irrespective of their caste, creed, color and occupation show ugly state of affairs. The situation of the province is far from normal. The country needs to take extraordinary and radical measures to curb terrorism. A multi-pronged policy is an answer to counter the insurgency that has entered its twelfth year. However, first things first. Seriousness on the part of the state is needed if it wants a peaceful solution for Balochistan. Moreover, to bring the dissidents to the dialogue table a round of diplomacy should be initiated.

The depressing fact is that situation is getting out of control. Only in 2017, seventy terrorist attacks have been reported in Quetta. One can only imagine the compromised state of affairs in the rest of the region.

It is high time for the political leadership of the country to engage in a meaningful discussion with all those who do not conform to the writ of the state. We have seen that merely relying on military operations will not achieve the long-desired peace in the province. The need of the hour is to allow media to gauge the socio-economic and political situation of the region. An independent investigation is needed to find out what went wrong in Balochistan in the first place that gave room to violent activities in the restive region of Pakistan.