No words are enough to condemn the tragic murder of 26 pilgrims, bound for Taftan, at the cruel hands of misguided elements at Mastung, Balochistan, on Tuesday. As a bus carrying 45 passengers, travelling from Quetta to the Iranian city, reached the Ghanjdori area of Mastung, eight to ten persons armed with Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers accosted the vehicle by placing their jeeps in front of it, forced the pilgrims to disembark and then opened fire indiscriminately. Only those who managed to run away from the scene survived, but those who could not, lay dead within a few minutes. The murderers had no difficulty in making good their escape. The killing operation seemed to have been a well coordinated job because, when some relatives and friends of the travellers, on learning of the incident, tried to reach the spot from Quetta, three of them were gunned down at Akhtarabad. The sad story repeats, but in much graver dimensions, the tragedies enacted in the province in January last year and June this year. The banned organisation Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has, reportedly, accepted the responsibility. The problem is not confined to Balochistan; there have been such unfortunate incidents elsewhere as well, for instance, on a Moharram procession, in Karachi last year. To have a religious or sectarian bias is irrational in a world inhabited by close to seven billion people subscribing to different faiths and sects. Then, there are pagans, non-believers or even atheists. With intolerance shown among one another, the world would be a chaotic place not fit to live in, marred by constant turmoil; there would be no chance of ever achieving peace. Even from the religious point of view, Muslims are required to show tolerance towards members of other faiths, let alone ruthlessly mow down fellow Muslims. These Muslim pilgrims had set out to perform a religious duty in compliance with the dictates of the faith they believed in. Shooting them down just because they belonged to another sect is an unforgivable criminal offence. These dastardly acts reflect the extent to which certain self-styled religious scholars of Islam are out to misguide the people, making it easier for the anti-Islam elements to malign the name of the glorious religion, the religion of peace. Under the circumstances, it falls on religious leaders, with thorough understanding of Islam, to come forward, appear on TV channels and address gathering in and outside the mosque to present before the people the true picture of Islam. The government, on its part, must track down, first, the perpetrators of Ghanjdori tragedy and their masterminds and punish them, and, secondly, check those elements, which fan the fires of intolerance. It should make a considered and comprehensive plan to enlighten the general public about the real message of Islam.