Quetta market attack

Amid apparently tight security environment an Improvised Explosive Device went off in vegetable market at Hazargani area in Quetta, killing 20 people and injuring 48 others. One FC soldier was killed and three wounded in the bomb blast. The area has witnessed similar attacks over the past eight years, targeting members of Hazara Shia Community. The provincial government provides them security escort because they are constantly under the threat of attack from both sectarian terrorist outfits and other militant groups. Hazara Community leader Nayal has asked the government for better security protection.

The insurgency hit restive province of Baluchistan has 700 hundred plus Kilometer border with Afghanistan and has a half a million Afghan nationals. The terrorist easily sneak into the province, get morphed with the Afghan Refugees and find their handlers for carrying out terrorist attacks. Like the previous two governments, the incumbent one is also not serious in repatriation of Afghan Nationals, both registered and unregistered, otherwise a comprehensive repatriation plan could have been in place now. As compared with last year figures the repatriation process under the UHCR programme has further slowed down. This year hardly two or three Afghan families avail the monetary facilities for repatriation. Operation Radul Fasad is on but elimination of all sleepers’ cells of terrorist outfits will take time.

The Judicial Commission report released in December, 2016 on Quetta Civil Hospital attack on August 8 has exposed certain glaring shortcomings in the Interior Ministry’s National Security and Internal Policy. The report also emphasised the refinement of National Action Plan, monitoring and implementation of its goals. The present government brought the plan to front burner and invited the leadership of the opposition parties for meaningful consultation but the meeting which was called last month in this regard has to be postponed because Asif Zardari Co-chairperson of PPP and Maulana Fazalu Rehman, Central Amir of JUI (F) declined to participate in it.

While responding to a question in a media talk in Kohat on Friday, State Minster for Interior Sheriyar Afridi hinted at developing effective mechanism to bar leaders of proscribed organisations from taking part in polls. It is pertinent to mention that a fourth scheduler, who heads a religious party to which Lej is believed to be affiliated, was allowed to contest on a National Assembly seat in Jhang District of South Punjab in July 2018 polls. His bank accounts were defreezed by the federal government on the recommendation of former caretaker government of Punjab. In a recent crackdown federal and provincial governments have taken over a number of seminaries, hospitals and other assets which were linked to proscribed organisations. However, no clear policy of reforming their curriculum and training of employed teachers have been worked out. There is dire need of chalking out a comprehensive national security policy.