The Worker’s Party Pakistan (WPP) condemned the sectarian violence in Mastung, where 26 people were killed as a group of armed men attacked a passenger bus carrying Shia pilgrims from Quetta to Iran, said a press release issued by WPP on Wednesday.
They demanded the provincial government of Balochistan and the federal government to take immediate action against Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), a militant organisation which has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The party has also said that the LeJ, along with other supposedly defunct militant outfits, continue to operate with impunity in all the urban centres of the country, while their extension to Balochistan suggests that state patronage for these organisations has not ceased.
WPP President Abid Hasan Minto and Information Secretary Aasim Sajjad have noted that there were 55 passengers on the bus. However, the non-Shias of Baloch and Pakhtun origins were not targeted, which reflects a deliberate and systematic attempt to exacerbate existing ethnic and sectarian divisions within Balochistan.
The leaders said that the province is already wracked by state repression against Baloch nationalists, while this was the third or fourth incident in which the Shia community of Hazara was targeted.
They also pointed out that the province is already on the brink of a civil war, while the LeJ and its affiliated organisations are formulating a clear strategy to fan all kinds of ethnic and sectarian tensions.
The leaders said it is imperative for people to demand an “end to the military establishment’s failed policy of “patronising jihadis”.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2011.
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