In paying homage to the martyred souls of the Army Public School Peshawar (APS) attack, Prime Minister claimed that Pakistan had defeated the terrorism. Hardly twenty-four hours passed to the claim that our PM had made that a suicide attack on the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church on Quetta’s Zarghoon Road killed at least eight people and 16 injured. This is not the first time that the terrorists had attacked this Church. In the past as well the Church was attacked after which the security of this religious site was tightened up. This suicide attack is a testimony to the complex nature of terrorism that has clouded the restive province.
It is true that the government and its law enforcement agencies have gained significant victories against the war on terror, however, saying that the nation has won the fight against terrorism is not correct. Pakistan has a long way to go to eradicate the menace of terrorism from its soil.
Because of the operations, largely successful, terrorist activities of militants and armed groups are curtailed in rest of Pakistan, but the province of Baluchistan tells an entirely different tale. The frequency with which terror attacks occur in the area is alarming. Unlike other provinces of the country, Baluchistan needs particular attention of the government because the issue of terrorism in this region is more complicated than the rest of the country is facing. The region is not a battlefield on which nationalists and separatists are fighting the state, but also a place from where religious terrorist organisations launch their attacks.
Only in the current year five suicide attacks in the province have claimed lives of more than 70 people and left at least 130 people injured. Add to this other kind of blasts and explosions the tally goes up. The province despite such a weak law and order situation does not catch the attention of the federation. The region doesn’t seem to find a place in the priorities lists of either the army or the federal government.
The regular attacks in the province especially against minorities, both ethnic and religious, and state is an indication of a sad state of affairs. The state and its law enforcement agencies have been ineffective so far in eliminating terrorist outfits there. Unless Quetta sees peace and stability, the claim of progress or victories against terrorism is wishful thinking at best. One can even call such claims nothing but complete falsehood. It is the time to give a serious consideration to devise a new strategy that can prove useful in rooting out terrorism from the province.