Two consecutive incidents of bloodshed of the Hazara community in Quetta and countrywide protest and agitation upon these gruesome acts have made it mandatory for us to reappraise our counter-terrorism strategy, do we even have one? After 9/11 in USA and 7/7 in UK their terrorism laws changed and this resulted in containing terrorism. While Pakistan is still following old redundant laws! How come a law to change the name of a university or to bring two different kinds of government rules in a province, are rushed through the parliament while laws which can curtail terrorism and stop the slaughter of innocent people is never passed?

Our security apparatus has collapsed and intelligence agencies have failed to perform their task. Giving only lip service and announcing compensation for the victims besides beefing up security of the targeted arrears would not suffice now. It is time we came out with the truth. Interior Minister Rehman Malik has time and again pointed a finger at the ‘foreign hands’ and ‘third force’ for all the terrorist act and sectarian violence in the country. Likewise, during the Swat military operation in 2009, concrete evidences of the involvement and interfere by someone were also allegedly found. So why are we quiet?

Blaming and focusing only on defunct religious cum terrorist outfits like SSP and Lashker-e-Jhangvi for all sectarian violence in the country would not benefit us.

Likewise, these outfits have not been involved in any suicidal attacks before. The explosives used and the modus operandi adopted in attacks on both security forces and minority Shiah community in the country are almost the same. It only shows a unity of command, commonality of agenda and singularity of objectives. Likewise, it doesn’t seem just a coincidence that the prime target of the sectarian violence is Shiah community living in the strategic border areas of the country like Balochistan and the Northern areas.

Now, Pakistan should use official diplomatic channel to formally protest and make a warning to all those involved in these gory incidents. Besides this, we should also use media to proactively plead our case before the international community. Be it a ‘New Grand Game’ or any other ‘Dirty Game’ by any powers, be it our neighboring, regional or global, a true picture must be brought before the nation and international community. If, after the 26/11 incident, Pakistan has been openly blamed and accused by India without any credible evidence then why are our lips sealed? Now, we should also openly and courageously speak as remaining silent would be fatal.


Lahore, February 23.