Bloodshed in Moharram
The killing of two young volunteers looking after a Shia camp in Karachi on the first of Moharram indicates a lack of vigilance on the part of the law enforcement agencies. There was a need to provide better security to the Azadars. Reportedly, some of the activists of a banned outfit were not only carrying weapons but also opened fire at the camp. Some of the killers are understood to be in the Rangers custody though it is yet to be officially confirmed. A thorough investigation needs to be conduced followed by preparation of fool proof cases against the culprits. The blowing up of railway tracks the same day by miscreants in Hyderabad, Nawabshah and Mehrabpur is yet another example of the relaxation on the part of the Home Department and intelligence agencies.
Moharram this year has had an inauspicious start. It goes to the discredit of the Sindh administration that the first incident of sectarian killings has taken place in Karachi where loud claims of restoring peace were being made. The provincial administration has to put its act together to ensure that there is an end to further sectarian killings. The law enforcement agencies and the Home Departments in all the four provinces need to be on high alert throughout Muharram. Quetta has seen enough bloodshed by the terrorist group known for targeting the Shia community. The network is also active in Punjab and KP. The administration in all the four provinces has, therefore, to remain on high alert during the month.
The sectarian killings belie the claim made by leaders of religious parties as well as those of PTI and PML(N) that the terrorism is simply a reaction to the US presence in Afghanistan and that with Pakistan dissociating itself from what they call the US war on terrorism, peace would return to the country. What they fail to understand is that extremism is the source and fountain of all terrorism. Unless this is eradicated through comprehensive and all out efforts, incidents of terrorism will continue to take place in the country. What needs to be done side by side is to improve the working of the security agencies. One has to realise that the phenomenon is likely to hound Pakistan long after the departure of the US-led NATO forces from Afghanistan.