There is reason to believe, or perhaps events from the past tell us that considering the challenge at hand, President Zardari’s emergency meeting with Prime Minister Raja Ashraf and the COAS Gen Kayani – more contemplation and debate than workable measures — did not provide the hope that the beleaguered Hazara community was looking for.

If those who hold the helm are undecided about what is to be done, they are in fact aiding and abetting the killers to plan their next massacre. Should the leadership fail to stand up to the scourge or should it fail to feel as though their own near and dear ones are the victims, Pakistan would slip further into anarchy and the rule of the non-state actors. The troika as well as the Parliament agreed to a targeted operation while recoiling from the thought of the army intervention, one of the major demands of the protestors. There are, however reports in the press that military sources were positive that the army could do the job. These are the circumstances, when protection of the Hazara community ought to take precedence over other concerns. So far as the police is concerned or the FC, they lack the resources and the personnel as confessed by a senior police officer of the area, who said that in most of the areas, there was no such thing as writ of the state. On Tuesday, a claim – appearing more of a balm to the protestors — was made by the FC that it had killed four terrorists and made some arrests that the Prime Minister Raja Ashraf said, he was personally overseeing. The Supreme Court as well the Parliament, too could do well to buck up the FC letting it have the freedom when it comes to zeroing on the terrorists; since they kill with impunity, they need to be stamped on with just as much ruthlessness. For otherwise, there would no end to the reign of bloodletting. Sadly, the role of the politicians left much to be desired. There was no open condemnation of the terrorist outfit based in south Punjab that has been carrying out a spate of attacks against the Shia community and not only that, openly brag that by ethnic cleaning of the community, they were fulfilling a great religious obligation. Imran Khan did criticise the outfit forcefully and so did Mian Shahbaz Sharif who ordered a police action against its network in the province, thus shrugging of the charge levelled against his party for previously lending verbal support to the outfit. Meanwhile the arrest of a suspect from Lahore with the discovery that it was from here that explosive material was procured offers a crucial clue which will should help the investigation process.

The continued attacks rocking Quetta point towards two corollaries; first is that the Shia community now seems disposed to arming themselves for their own security, and secondly the overall impact this senseless bloodshed registers on the separatist sentiment in Balochistan. Time is of essence.