Chaman blast

Chaman blast

An improvised explosive device planted to a motorbike went off on Mall Road in Chaman, a town in Baluchistan near the Pak-Afghan border. The blast killed 6 people and wounded 21 others, of which 12 have been reported in critical condition. The frontline province of Baluchistan has been witnessing frequent terrorist attacks on security forces and civilians, as the porous, unfenced and thinly manned border make it easier for militants to sneak into the province from Afghanistan and hit the target of their choosing. The presence of half a million refugees in Baluchistan facilitates finding of local handler to do planning for attacks.

The new wave of militancy has outraged the political leaders from ruling party and opposition. Central President of Awami National Party, Asfandiyar Wali, while condemning the Chaman blast and sympathizing with the families of victims, urged the government to take concrete steps for curbing resurgent militancy. He said that the non-serious attitude of the government and local administration is resulting in the loss of lives of people.  According to the ANP Chief, the lack of implementation of National Action Plan is giving impetus to regrouping and strengthening of militants outfits.

The opinion of the veteran politician about putting the implantation of National Action Plan on the back burner is correct, for which both the previous and current ruling political leadership is equally responsible. The new wave of terrorism necessitates implementation of this plan in letter and spirit. Notwithstanding their beautifully worded occasional statements in its support and promise of complete implementation, the political leadership has shown reluctance to give ownership to it; but there seems no political will to implement certain points of the plan. No legislation has been done by the parliament to reform criminal justice system. The counterterrorism watchdog, National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), under which joint intelligence directorate was conceived to be formed, has not been made fully functional. It is no longer a secret that NACTA is not getting a fair deal in budgetary allocations. The last PML-N government did urge Ulema to build a narrative to counter extremism and militancy. However, it did not take the initiative by itself to build and promote it.

There is no iota of doubt that India is involved in terrorist activities in Baluchistan. The approval of Afghan Loya Jirga for the release of Taliban prisoners by President Ashraf Ghani government has brightened the chances of intra-Afghan dialogue for taking forward the peace process to reach an inclusive broad based political settlement of the Afghan conflict. The Taliban spokesperson at Doha Suhail Shaheen has hinted at the possibility of first round of these talks in week. It will certainly make India more desperate. It is high time to implement all points of National Action Plan inevitable at the earliest.

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