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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Quetta horrors

Editorial

Thursday, June 21, 2012
From Print Edition

Quetta’s descent into a hell zone where there is no peace continues. Will the city ever find the calm that once existed there and which its people yearn for? We simply do not know. Certainly, there is no sign that this is going to happen any time soon. In yet another sectarian attack on Monday, claimed by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a bomber targeted a bus carrying students of an IT institute of the city. Five were killed and at least 70 injured. Many of the students were Hazarwals. A large number of the injured are still in a critical condition. Tuesday saw protests in Quetta after a teacher said to be close to veteran Baloch politician Nawab Khair Bukhsh Marri was target-killed by ‘unknown’ persons. The blame and suspicions in this case have been directed towards the security agencies. Over the last few weeks we have had many meetings and conferences on the Balochistan issue and the collapse of law and order in the province. The matter also lies before the Supreme Court. There were talks of a conference involving all stakeholders in Balochistan. But nothing concrete has been done so far in this regard. The killings continue; blood spills again and again.

The police appear unsure if the bus was hit by a suicide bomber or by explosives planted along the road. In many ways this is irrelevant. The fact is that the groups behind the various kinds of violence need to be tracked down and their leaders brought to justice. There is no evidence at all that this is being done. Because of this negligence feelings of anger among the Baloch have risen to the extreme. Hazara and other nationalist parties in Balochistan have staged — understandably so — angry protests in the city. The Hazara community, targeted on both sectarian and ethnic bases, has strong grounds for complaint. Can anyone solve the maze that is leading Balochistan towards greater and greater chaos? Once more we have heard the usual words of regret from key officials. But such expressions will not bring back lives or halt the terrorists in their tracks. We keep hearing from the government that a plan for Balochistan has been worked out. We wonder why this is being kept a secret. Each day a new terror hits the province and makes matters even more difficult to manage while the government appears unmoved. This is the most frightening element of all.

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