Twenty precious lives were lost in the bomb blast in Quetta on April 12 that targeted the Shia Hazara community. The Hazara community is being targeted with sickening regularity in the city so much so that when they visit markets they are provided security by the Frontier Constabulary and the police. Several hundred men, women and children from the community have been killed in terrorist attacks in the recent past. The Senate Standing Committee on Interior has sought a report from the Ministry of Interior on the action taken so far against terrorists and banned outfits involved in Hazara killings. The Senate panel met with Senator Rehman Malik in the chair on Friday. It was decided that the next meeting of the panel would be held in Quetta, specifically on the agenda of Hazara killings.
The interior Ministry was instructed to submit a comprehensive report on the Quetta blast. The panel also sought a report on the recent release of activists of proscribed organisations in Balochistan. Senator Malik observed that the blast could be aimed to instigate sectarian clashes and destabilise the country. He stressed the need for taking ruthless action against the terrorists. He said he had called a special meeting for briefing on implementation of the National Action Plan.
The fact that the network of closed circuit TV cameras in Quetta has not yet been made fully operational once again brings to the fore the laidback attitude of our government functionaries. The authorities entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the life and property of the people should under no circumstances be slack in carrying out their duty. Questions arise about the successes and failures of the National Action Plan (NAP). The plan was announced in January 2015 after the terrorist attack on Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014. So far it has had a mixed bag of success and failure. It has met with success in eliminating terrorists from the tribal areas of K-P, urban areas of Sindh and some parts of south Punjab. Its biggest challenge remains the continued killing of members of the Hazara community.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2019.