Around a hundred people have to die and many more have to be maimed before the government finally decides to use our tax money to protect us.
In a reactive move that has become a hallmark of Pakistan’s way of running affairs, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah directed law-enforcement agencies to begin security audit of 86 shrines after a suicide attack on Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine killed over 80 devotees on February 16.
The high death toll at the shrine makes it one of the worst attacks in Pakistan in recent years. This bombing was preceded by a series of bloody extremist assaults in other parts of Pakistan including Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar.
For a country believed to be in a state of war and supposedly following the National Action Plan to eradicate terrorism, security at possible targets such as mosques, imambargahs and shrines should have been foolproof anyway. Deployment of enough security personnel, multi-layered checking process before entry and constant vigilance should have been already part of the safety apparatus. But as obvious from the recent targeted attacks, the authorities concerned have not been honest in their actions — if not in their commitment — to end the menace of terrorism from the country.
Until the federal and provincial governments make prevention — rather than after-event assistance — their mission, terrorists will continue to strike and bleed Pakistan at every chance they get. There’s also a need for accountability of those responsible for security lapses; ignoring terror alerts, not providing adequate resources to the police and overlooking security protocols is criminal negligence and the culprits should be held accountable — be they from the security forces or the elected government.
Most importantly, what is required is honesty of our leadership which currently appears to have no shame in arriving at sites where people were murdered because they didn’t do their job.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2017.
Like Opinion & Editorial on Facebook, follow @ETOpEd on Twitter to receive all updates on all our daily pieces.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ