This editorial was supposed to be of Eid, of bazars and bangles, of economic and celebratory updates. But at least 13 people, including a child, were injured in a blast in Kandahari Bazaar, Quetta on Sunday. On 19 July, at least three people were killed and 27 others wounded in a bomb explosion in Khuzdar in Balochistan and yesterday another bus was attacked. We celebrate this Eid with fear and sadness, for the people of Pakistan are unsafe and unhappy.

From August 1st, the government has invoked Article 245, calling in the army to protect Islamabad. Are cities like Quetta, Karachi or Lahore safer than Islamabad? Will 245 be extended to other cities as fear mounts? The paranoia and futility of the PMLN-N government is utterly transparent. In a sad abuse of law, Article 245 is not being used to protect the city from war, but from impending marches by Imran Khan’s PTI and maybe even Qadri’s PAT. While the bombing of other cities, in fits and starts from Karachi to Peshawar is just another day’s news, the government is hiding behind the skirts of the army to avoid facing its political rivals. According to a monitoring report prepared by the Capital Police itself, performance of the police has been dismal. The report said that in the city zone of Aabpara, Kohsar, Secretariat and Bhara Kahu police stations, 212 major cases were reported, including murder, gang rape, robbery, burglary and vehicle theft. Only 24 of the cases were challaned while the rest were under investigation and six were cancelled altogether. The police has turned into a bit of a joke; we admit it and the police admits it. But 245 is a problem, not a solution and it only makes the government look as weak as it is.

There are issues the government has to address, and one of the biggest is violence in Balochistan. Multi-tasking is not an excuse. It has to be done, simultaneously, with the issue of the Taliban. Gullo Butt, the PTI March and laptop schemes… these are all distractions when a Pakistani fears for his life in his own home. These politicians live bullet-proof lives, have armies, police forces and personal guards protecting them. Maybe this Eid, they can open their minds and hearts to the masses and think about our lives, our ambitions and our protections. Wishes for a safe Eid, to all our readers.