The dastardly target killing of Mr. Bilal Anwar Kasi ,the President of Quetta Bar Association, followed  by the horrendous bomb attack in the Civil Hospital which decimated a large part of the city lawyers community has not only left people reeling from the terror rampage, but has also put the entire government in a terrible spin.

Not surprisingly fingers are being pointed at an external hand and the narrative of Indian sabotage of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is being touted as the main objective of this incident. Thus the actions of Kulbhushan Yadev are being cited in this regard, although not only is he in our custody since long but about four hundred of his local agents and affiliates are said to have been rounded up by now as a result of his revelations.

Is it worth asking how effective his network of saboteurs can be today? Although, the responsibility of the incident has been already claimed by the so-called Lashkar or Jamaat-e-Ahrar, the modus operandi adopted in Quetta on August 8  is the same which Lashkar e Jhangvi (LeJ) has been using earlier. This is quite obvious to any independent observer who has studied the previous terrorist incidents, especially those in which target killing is used as a bait for carrying out massive explosions, employing suicide bombers or planted explosives, timed to go off when a number of people, unwittingly, gather to mourn or sympathize with the dead or wounded at a particular location, in this case at the Civil Hospital where lawyers and general public had arrived following the murder of Lawyer Bilal Kasi.

Neither should the mere claim for the attack by Jamaat-e-Ahrar be accepted with eyes closed, nor should the authorities get off track by the suspicion of Indians being involved with the objective of derailing the CPEC. This is not to say that Indians have no connection with such incidents or even with LeJ. In fact, LeJ has been involved in all the attacks in which Pak Armed Forces installations have been attacked including the GHQ, Kamra base, Mehran base, ISI Building in Sukkur and ISI headquarters in Rawalpindi.

It appears quite amusing that since the Army Chief has mentioned the CPEC as the target, the PM also parrots his statement and many in the media have also jumped on the band wagon of anti-India tirade. It doesn’t matter whether the CPEC is the target or not. What really matters is that who are those who have carried out this attack are the ones I mentioned earlier. Are we going to name them and catch them or will we keep on being blackmailed by those who are the masterminds of not only LeJ but all these terrorist groups.

It also appears rather strange that the spokesman of the Baluchistan Government Mr. Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar in trying to explain the likely involvement of RAW in this incident, accepted its direct connections with the TTP, Baluch Nationalists and LeJ, and as usual tried to bail out the LeJ by saying that the LeJ is manipulated by RAW into committing such acts. This is what is called denial in which the state of Pakistan and its functionaries despite sufficient proof of LeJ’s involvement in anti-Pakistan activities refuse to acknowledge it as a fact.

 It is highly preposterous that an organization that is one of the deadliest on the list of proscribed organizations and which is responsible for the butchering of thousands of Pakistani civilians,  military and security personnel should be subjected to what can be called ‘pussy-footing’.

The main reason behind the failure of the state in formulating a counter-narrative to defeat these religious/sectarian terrorists is that we are afraid to call a spade a spade. There is a certain presence of apologists and sympathizers of this nihilistic and misogynist ideology which incidentally attracts a lot of criminal minded and ignorant people.

 The criminal and immoral backgrounds of all the killers who have claimed to belong to the so-called Islamic State (IS) or Daesh which is actually anti-Islam is borne out by the antecedents of the attacker, be it the Belgium attacks, the France attacks including the attack in Nice, or the Orlando attack.

One of the most glaring things is that on one hand the Police and CTD authorities in different provinces keep on issuing reports about likely terrorist activities explicitly by the LeJ and the TTP, which are actually two sides of the same coin yet, their master minds like the heads of LeJ and their political face the ASWJ are openly found taking part in political rallies in the name of Kashmir struggle under the banner of the likes of Hafiz Saeed who heads the  ‘Tanzeem-e-Difah’ and other such groups.

Now if some political leaders blame the agencies for harbouring these terrorists, can their claim be so easily challenged? The close ties of the PML-N bigwigs with these sectarian groups and their leaders are now an open secret. The government can’t deny this. Why hasn’t the government taken action on the most important 8 points of the NAP, and why has the Pakistan Protection Act 2014 been allowed to lapse on 15 Jul 2016 and no action has been taken by the federal government to revive it when the country is still in the throes of terrorism?

All this shows that the PML-N government is either oblivious to its responsibilities or only wants to deceive the people by diverting them from this grave issue. It should not be forgotten that it is in this very city of Quetta that the Hazara Community has borne the brunt of this genocide since more than a decade – but it has failed to create a ripple in the collective conscience of the countrymen. Thus, the protestations of the thinking segment of the civil society against the agents of intolerance and disruption appears to be only a cry in the wilderness.

It is obvious that those in the establishment as well as in the major political parties are either fearful of losing the sympathy/support of the confused majority or of the likely violent reaction and lawlessness that may result from dealing head on with these terrorists. It is high time for all those holding the reins of power to realize that the biggest threat to national unity to date is the spread of the ‘takfiri’ ideology which allows anybody to declare one an apostate or kafir. The likely result of this ideology of creating ‘nifaq’ or discord in the people is fraught with disastrous consequences.

If these feelings of hatred are allowed to simmer in the hearts of the masses the state of Pakistan is likely to implode. The example of Iraq and Syria are already before us. The earlier the Government wakes up from its slumber, the better. As, any dithering on this issue whatever the reason, does not bode well for the future of Pakistan.