Wave of terrorist attacks
The memories of extreme grief and outrage were still fresh in the minds of people about the Hazargangi Quetta vegetable market attack that another soul searing and blood curdling incident of terrorism occurred in the restive province of Baluchistan. Two dozens unidentified assailants, who were wearing clothes that resembled FC uniform, picked out 16 people from a passenger bus by checking CNICs; abducted them and killed 14 of them on Makran coastal Highway in Ormera Baluchistan. The dead also include personnel of Pakistan Navy. Two of the abducted passengers managed to escape and succeeded to reach nearby levies checkpost. Two days ago anti-terrorist operation was launched in Peshawar which killed five terrorists hold up in a house.
As usual the human tragedy was followed by a barrage of stereotype condemnation statements from the President, Prime Minister, Baluchistan chief Minister, federal ministers and top leadership of PML-N, PPP and other political parties. Former President Asif Zardari in his statement condemned the killing of innocent people by terrorists but in the same breath cast a sarcastic remark. He said, “Had the National Action Plan been implemented in letter and spirit, such tragedies would not have occurred.”It is the manifestation of sheer hypocrisy and dirty blame game tactics on a human tragedy. It was the senior PPP leader and former Chairman Senate, Mian Raza Rabbani who showed open animosity in the Parliament during the voting on 21st Amendment with a sunset clause to set up military courts for the trial of terrorism related cases. Tied by party discipline he cast his vote and went out the house, weeping and crying. Establishment of these courts is one of the very crucial points of the National Action Plan. Provincial governments are 60 percent stake holders in the implementation of the plan but the performance and attitude of PPP government in Sindh is not enviable.
The federal government called the meeting of the parliamentary leaders of all political parties last month for consultation to agree on a line of action for the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) for which foreign minister Shah Mehmood Querishi wrote invitation letters. But the meeting had to be called off as former President Asif Zardari and Central Amir of JUI (F) Maulana Fazlu Rehman declined to attend it. The leadership of opposition parties, particularly of PPP, does want third time extension in the tenure of Military Courts.
It is also very unfortunate that political leadership has adopted an oblivious attitude towards reforming the criminal justice system which is included as an important point in the NAP. Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, while speaking at a national conference on “Expeditious Justice Initiative” five days ago regretted that Parliament did not accord priority to Justice System. He emphasised that it is for the state and legislature to come up with clear laws which are unambiguous and easy to apply.
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 NAP, monitoring and implementation of its goals. It is now for the ruling and opposition political parties to realise the gravity of security situation and put their heads together for the refinement and implementation of all goals envisaged in this plan of national importance.