If nothing more, there is an atmosphere of chaos in Pakistan, with a prevalent sense of distrust and disappointment over the general affairs of the country. And especially after the recent tragic bombings, taking lives of over 90 innocent Hazaras, including women and children, people have lost their belief in the effectiveness of the national institutions. The façade of effectiveness of this so-called democratic government has long been gone, swamped away by the cruel winds of utter mismanagement and pure negligence and now people are not sure on what to do and whom to call upon in this time of distress.
Military! This was the common demand of the effected families of the victims of the targeted bombing on the Shia Hazara neighborhood of Quetta. People mourning over the dead bodies of their beloveds, second time in two months came out on streets, sat in cold freezing temperatures with the dead bodies of their loved ones and protested in helplessness to give Quetta under military control and carry out a targeted operation against the murderers responsible for this act of sheer brutality.
If you analyze their demand, which was ruled out later in the negotiations between the Shia Hazara leaders and the government committee led by Qamar Zaman Kira, there was this sense of helplessness and insecurity which shows how badly the government has failed to deliver the very basic need of protecting the lives and property of its citizens. And to make things worse, it is definitely not the first time the government made such a fool of itself in not stopping such a bloody onslaught of innocent people. Just back in January, a similar kind of targeted assault massacred 92 and wounded 121, yet the Shia Hazara community became an easy target of a similar bombing attack for the second time, which took over the lives of 90 people and injured more than 160, many of them critically. If government is not responsible for showing severe carelessness and incompetency then whom should we hold responsible? After the first brutal attack, government enforced Governor Rule in Baluchistan on the demands of the effected Hazara families but of what help was it? Remind me, if I am missing out on some specific, targeted search operations which were initiated under the Governor Rule where suspected terrorists were brought in for inquiring or questioning? Remind me if any other act of vigilance or special security measures were taken to ensure safety of all in Baluchistan and especially of the Shia Hazara community of Quetta. If yes, then who is responsible for not stopping the water tanker which contained about 800 kilograms of explosives and exploded near a market place which was crowded with men, women and children, in the Hazara Town of Quetta?
Evidently the government has reached a new low, in proving how ineffective and utterly powerless it is. And when the vulnerable minority of our Hazara brothers seeks for military protection, government frown upon them, saying how naïve of them to ‘derail’ the democratic system like this. I ask the government then, that what other options you have left them with? Whom should they ask for help then as lately you have disappointed them badly, in spite of being the strong holder of power?
The anguish of the Hazara community in seeking protection from the army and wanting the city of Quetta to be controlled by them is understandable. They have the right to ask for anything that could become a way of ensuring their security. In the absence of civilian law enforcement, what else can a group of people ask for? But then it is important to understand the fact that army rule is only a short-term solution whereas a long term analysis shows that military has not brought much good to Pakistan and has only left its civilians to mop away a bigger mess than was actually there. The only long term solution that will not just keep the terrorism activities in check but will also be a way out to strangle down the ever increasing links of terrorist and extremist groups is the establishment of strong hold of law enforcement agencies that are backed up with vigilant intelligence agencies under the control of impartial and responsible government. Now the other aspect of this horrible picture raises more questions and concerns…. Why our Hazara brothers were made to go through this misery twice? Why such madness was brought on to them? Why were their women and children massacred? What is the driving force behind these violent sectarian attacks? Be it in Quetta, Karachi or Lahore… Is it just because they are a minority or because they belong to a different sect?
Where are we as a nation heading? Torn apart with the bloody distinctions of Sunni, Shia, Wahabi, Ahmedi, Parsi, we have actually lost the meaning of our very creation and the creation of this country. We have forgotten why Pakistan was created in the first place. It was created so that people could live here freely while practicing their religion with dignity. But then if a Shi-ite is not allowed to live freely and is brutally killed here and especially if a young innocent kid is slaughtered just because he and his family belongs to a different sect, Pakistan definitely has lost its meaning! If this country is bleeding over sectarian conflicts than we have brought madness upon us.
It might sound foolishly simplistic to say here, but I believe that we as a nation need teachers and leaders who could preach us the lessons of morality, tolerance and love. We need to inject the moral values of peace, tolerance and love in order to face our inner differences and to overcome them without tearing each other apart. And united with love and tolerance, we as a nation could fight better the terrorist elements within our own lines, who are our true enemies.