The terrorist groups most often succeed whenever they want to hit the targets of their choice, tall claims of the federal government about smashing the terror outfits notwithstanding. As compared with the worst affected provinces of Baluchistan, Sindh and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Punjab remains relatively at peace but it is not completely safe from the terrorist attacks. At least ten people, including five police personnel were martyred and over a dozen injured in suicide blast on the outskirts of Lahore on Wednesday night. The explosion occurred near a police camp set up for the security of the annual congregation of Tableeghi Jamat in Raiwand and the police appear to be target.
This is the first incident of such nature in Lahore this year; however, almost 60 people lost their lives in terrorist attacks in 2017. At least 45 people were injured in an explosion in fruit market at a truck standing in the parking lot in August. In July, 26 people including nine policemen were martyred and 58 others injured in suicide hit on Ferozpur Road. In April, six people, including army personnel were killed in a suicide attack on Census team on Bedian Road. On February 13, over two dozen people including two senior police officers were killed in a suicide blast on Mall Road.
The government has deliberately kept itself oblivious of dangerous changes occurring in this region, particularly the alarming increase in suicide attacks in Afghanistan. The rise in violence and US drone attacks inside Afghanistan or close to the Pak-Afghan border have a backlash in Pakistan. The government seems to be least bothered about improving the internal security situation and always take shelter behind conspiracies theories, which is nothing but burying head in a heap of sand like Ostrich in front of imminent danger. Almost the entire leadership of PML-N, baring a few exceptions, is treading a path of confrontation with state institutions at the behest of former disqualified Prime Minister. The critique of the Apex verdict of 28th July by Captain (R) Safdar and ensuing verbal brawl between him and PTI MNA Dr. Arif Alvi is a sad reflection of our political culture.
The essential matter of streamlining the inland security laws is out of their priorities. No fool proof security mechanism is in place for providing security to VVIPs. How come that two religious extremist managed to reach near the stage in Jamia Naeemia and threw shows on the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Ironically, the response of PML-N leaders to this incident was a display of mundane political behavior rather than rational one. The next general elections are a few month away and political leaders will address public meetings and hold rallies for which a secure and peaceful environment has to be created.
The ruling leadership has abandoned the implementation of National Action Plan (NAP) solely for political reasons and lack of moral courage. The most important points of this plan have been shelved. It includes strict action against militant groups having sleeper cells in the Southern Punjab and Interior Sindh; strengthening National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA); chocking finances for terrorist organizations by improving the counterterrorism financing regime; Seminaries reforms; and revamping and reforming the criminal justice system. A comprehensive plan for antimony laundering and choking of finances to terror groups has to be put in place without any further delay. The national narrative ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan’ turned out to be a onetime public relation exercise as even a single inch progress has not been made on its implementation. It is time to stop the diatribe against the state institutions; mantra of ‘why I was shown the door,’ and so called campaign of restoration of the sanctity of vote. National Security should be held supreme and not hue and cry for personal interest.