The enemies of peace are at work again as the timing of the bomb blast inside a mosque in Kuchlak village near Quetta makes it clear. The blast has occurred at a time when negotiations between the Afghan Taliban and the US are reportedly meeting with success. Obviously, Pakistan has been targeted by unknown terrorists as it is giving a helping hand to the Trump administration to reach a settlement with the Afghan Taliban over the withdrawal of the remaining 14,000 US troops from Afghanistan. According to reports, the Afghan Taliban have agreed to guarantee peace in Afghanistan after the US troop withdrawal.
The Kuchlak bomb blast, meanwhile, took place before Friday prayers. At the time of the explosion, a large number of worshippers were present inside the mosque. In the bomb blast, detonated through a remote-controlled device, four people lost their lives and 23 others were wounded, most of whom were in a critical condition as described by the hospital staff. Reportedly, Ahmedullah Akhundzada, a bother of Haibatullah Akhundzada, the Afghan Taliban chief, has also been among the dead. Ahmedullah was delivering the Friday sermon when he was killed in the blast.
In recent months, several bomb blasts have occurred inside or near a mosque before, during or immediately after the Friday prayers in Quetta and other places of Balochistan. On May 23, a bomb blast had taken place in Pashtoonabad locality of Quetta before Friday prayers. Several people had been killed in the blast. This points to security lapse though. However, the fact should be kept in mind that the targeted mosque on Aug 16 is several miles away from Quetta. The authorities may not have been expecting terrorists targeting a village mosque. There is, however, the need to further beef up security at mosques, especially those administered by high-profile people. Of course, the blast has occurred at a bad time when tension is continuously building up on Pakistan’s eastern border. The mischief is at work.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2019.