Two recent incidents in Balochistan rocked Pakistan. The first; bomb explosion at the residency of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Ziarat that destroyed the historical monument. A policeman outside the residency was also killed. According to reports memorial chairs, beds and historic photographs of the founder were burnt to the ground in the resulting fire. Only the exterior structure remained intact, while the terrorists escaped unhurt. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar revealed that the residency had been attacked by five militants, who had removed the Pakistan flag and raised the BLA flag in its place. The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a militant separatist group, is fighting for separation of resource-rich Balochistan; many of its purported leaders living abroad. Balochistan Liberation Army was declared a terrorist organisation in Pakistan in April 2006, after a series of attacks conducted by the group targeting security personnel, civilians and journalists. On July 17, 2006, the government of the United Kingdom listed the BLA as a terrorist outfit and banned their members from the country. This latest strike was ‘symbolic terrorism’, an effort to eradicate our identity and roots. It has hit at the very base, arousing anguish and rage beyond measure in the hearts of the countrymen.The second act of terrorism was multiple bomb and gun attacks by militants in which at least 23 people, including 14 female students and the Deputy Commissioner Quetta, were killed. Some reports place the total dead at 25.The suicide bombing devoured a bus carrying female students. At least 11 students died, while 19 were rushed in emergency to Bolan Medical Complex, hurt. Another blast, this time at the Bolan Medical Complex, reportedly, killed 11 more. This was followed by a hostage crisis at the hospital. Four FC commandants also lost their lives in the shootout that ensued. This heinous act of crime was owned by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, as retribution for five killed in the Kharotabad Attack on June 6, 2013. It was, in fact, created, according to the BBC, to counter Iran’s Islamic Revolution in the 1980s. Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Jhangvi as well as Lashkar-e-Taiba are, reportedly, affiliates of al-Qaeda and both have been linked financially – that is, they are supported and funded by the same Middle Eastern country.The fact that the presence of Gwadar and China’s strong commitment to the port along with the proposed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline in the province are major irritants for those having an interest in the region.“Balochistan has become a playground for international forces. Pakistan should foremost take Baloch people into confidence and build bridges with aggrieved parties offering them a package within the federal scheme of Pakistan that addresses their concerns,” says Raza Rumi, analyst and writer. His tweet of June 15 says: “Hope the new government realises that it has to deal with 'favoured' proxies, who operate with impunity everywhere. Militant groups free to strike.”However, there are those who would definitely not agree with this thought process. Whether Baloch Liberation Army or Lashkar-e-Jhangvi or any other organisation, they feel strongly about entering into a dialogue with a party or organisation bent on the destruction of Pakistan. The opinion is; when proxy wars are fought, no matter what you offer, is not enough. It is never enough. The stakes are much higher. They do not want a slice of the pie. They want ‘the’ pie - the only option, therefore, is to fight them.A strategy must be developed in the best interest of the nation. All efforts must be put on board to resolve issues, bring harmony between different groups of people, peace and, above all, prosperity. “More than anything Balochistan requires a system of deliverance in tangible terms with political ownership” (Special Balochistan Report, February 2012). Any strategy to succeed in addressing terrorism must have the government and army of Pakistan on the same page.In order to tighten the law and order situation in Balochistan, one step that the government must immediately look into is the reinstatement of awarding the status of ‘A’ Area (police responsibility) to Balochistan. This was instituted by the government of General Musharraf for entire Balochistan. Later, it was reverted to ‘B’ Area (levies responsibility, instead of police, and appointed by the sardars) for almost 95 percent of the province. The present system offers no checks and balances. The ‘security personnel’ are appointed by the local sardars; whereas, the government funds them for it. At best, it is a loose system of trying to manage law and order, and makes it easier for those who are involved in nefarious activities to find loopholes in the system. In a volatile situation that exists in Balochistan, a vigilant, professional system must be in place. A daunting task; dealing with different groups with different interests, however, the government must rise to the challenge. It has no other option.

The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled “A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan”.