The smallest coffins, they say, are the heaviest to carry for they take with them our dreams and aspirations of the future. Three more budding and bright lights were snuffed out in the Killi Badezai area of Quetta on Thursday. The children, aged between 10 and 14 years, were in a graveyard and mistook a grenade for a toy. The explosive went off as the children started playing with it. The resultant blast instantly killed the children, who were too small and too innocent to withstand its destructive powers. The incident is the latest in a series of attacks that have restarted in a new summer season of terror. Attacks over the past month have been reported in Balochistan, Khyber-Pakthunkhwa and even in the heart of the federal capital with two police officers among the latest to lose their lives.
One group which has stepped forward to claim responsibility for some of these attacks is the proscribed TTP. Back from the brink and operating on a breadth of territory, it is apparent that it is not doing so without an external help. External actors have long been active in Pakistan, but no one wants to cause more harm to Pakistan than India. New Delhi’s patronage of terrorist elements based in Afghanistan is no revelation. Fomenting terror in Pakistan from the Afghan soil is perhaps the only interest that India has in the war-torn country.
Now with the American troops on track to complete a withdrawal from Afghanistan even before their scheduled time of September 11, the threat that our western neighbour can become not just a haven, but a full-fledged launch pad for a host of anti-Pakistan activities, could become a grim reality. On the security front, a lot of time, personnel and resources have been poured into the border areas, but there is now a real need for Pakistan to step up diplomatic efforts with its neighbouring countries to contain the threat that is growing serious.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 6th, 2021.