Once again the Hazara community is targeted with immense brutality. This time the terrorists have chosen Hazara Town situated on Kirani Road to attack the innocent Hazara people. This was the first attack on the Hazara community after the imposition of governor’s rule in Balochistan. This incident raises several questions. Firstly, on whom would the security-cum-intelligence agencies and administration now put the blame of security lapse after the bombing?

Secondly, how did the tractor trolley carrying some 1,000kg of IED enter the city and easily reach Hazara Town while crossing several police and FC checkposts in and outside the city? Thirdly, how did the intelligence agencies fail to counter such a huge attack in a small city like Quetta? If intelligence agencies do not possess the required capabilities of countering such incidents, why is the government spending such a huge amount of money on them? These are some of the questions that should be answered by those who are responsible for providing security to the lives and properties of citizens.

Additionally, a well-planned counterterrorism policy should have been devised to flush out terrorists. Targeted operations were, however, started but they were also discontinued after a couple of days. The fact of the matter is that the administration does not have a real counterterrorism policy. Merely giving a free hand to security agencies and supporting them in their efforts is not a counterterrorism policy.

Rather, senior officials should also guide and direct them in their work. The government’s approach in countering the killings of Punjabis in Balochistan is a good example. Such a strategy is needed to stop Hazara killings in the province. Otherwise bloodshed will not stop and Hazaras will continue to suffer. The government should stop testing the patience and loyalty of Hazaras in Balochistan. Hazaras, like other communities of this state, have given many sacrifices for the sake of this country and will continue to do so and contribute to the prosperity of their beloved homeland.

The government is, however, under obligation to provide security to the vulnerable community by following zero tolerance policy towards the enemy within, who is continuously targeting the Shia Hazaras in Balochistan.

HASSAN RAZA FOLADI,

Quetta, February 26.