It seems the possible has ceased to happen. Now only the impossible happens in Pakistan. The country is witnessing an endless cycle of violence.
The killing of 14 people in Balochistan late on Thursday has come close on the heels of the Quetta suicide bombing on April 12 in which 20 people, mostly members of the Hazara community, had been killed.
It seems sinister forces inimical to Pakistan are ceaselessly at work stirring their hellish broth and keep on baking, boiling and bubbling their magic concoction like the witches in Macbeth singing “Round about the cauldron go/In the poisoned entrails throw/Toad, that under the cold stone/Days and nights hast thirty-one/Double, double toil and trouble/Fire burn and cauldron bubble…/Like a hell-broth boil and bubble/Double, double toil and trouble….They are thereby doubling the troubles and hardships of our countrymen.
Armed men picked out at least 14 passengers with the help of their National Identity Cards, offloaded them from the bus they were travelling in and shot them dead on the Makran Coastal Highway in Ormara.
One navy and one coastguard personnel were among those killed. The attack happened between 12.30am and 1 am. According to Balochistan Inspector General of Police, 15-20 armed assailants in camouflage were involved in the attack.
The Home Secretary of the province told a news agency the assailants were wearing clothes that resembled Frontier Corps uniforms. The gunmen stopped the bus travelling between Karachi and Gwadar.
According to a local official, around three dozen passengers were travelling on the bus. Reports say the motive for the killings and the identity of the victims are yet to be disclosed. A similar incident had taken place in Balochistan’s Mastung area in 2015 when armed men kidnapped around two dozen passengers from two Karachi-bound coaches and killed 19 of them.
Condemnation of the incident has poured in from various quarters, including President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto and Co-Chairman Asif Zardari. “Had the National Action Plan been implemented in letter and spirit, such tragedies would not have occurred,” Zardari said.
As gory incidents keep on happening, it can only be said common humanity is slipping away from our midst. Cry the beloved country!
Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2019.
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