Hazaras targeted again

The tragedies — and bodies — just seem to keep piling up in the restive province of Balochistan, which is now undergoing a bloody crusade of sectarian cleansing. Again the Hazara Shias of Quetta have been victimized in a target killing in which four Hazaras have been killed and two passersby have been seriously injured. Gunmen on a motorcycle laden with sophisticated weapons carried out the crime and, as usual, fled the scene. It is deeply unsettling that we have reached a stage at which such news does not seem to be out of the ordinary and the Shia Hazaras have become just another bloodied statistic. No investigation is necessary to determine whether or not this was a crime of specific assassination but the culprits must be brought to justice for once.

To do that, the situation in Balochistan has to change. The province of Balochistan is home to a raging nationalist insurgency, one that pits them against the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC), which stands suspected of being behind the missing persons whose bodies are routinely found tortured and dumped in different places around the province. If this is indeed true, it seems the agendas of all those involved in Balochistan’s unrest are clashing, and with violent results. The crime of the missing persons coupled with the continuous targeting of Shia Hazaras — who have been routinely murdered by the militants of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in the hundreds in suicide bomb attacks and assassinations — have made Balochistan a cesspool of hate, murder and misery. There is an urgent need to tackle the biggest problem facing not just the province but the entire country: terrorism. The kind of terrorism one is witnessing in Balochistan is of the most dangerous kind in which a significant minority is being declared a legitimate target for killing. The army, the intelligence agencies and the paramilitary force must let go of whatever agenda they have in the province and work together on relieving Balochistan of the terrorist virus. There is a dire need for the police and the intelligence to work together to eliminate those who are targeting on the basis of belief otherwise there really will be no province, no country left worth fighting for. Without the combined efforts of all those who hold Balochistan dear, these terrorists, who are promoting savage sectarian murder, will win in the void that has been created in the province. That does not work in favour of anyone.

(Courtesy: Daily Times)

Republished in The Balochistan Point on July 17, 2013

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