Far too many!
Despite the many successes of the anti-terror operation, Quetta continues to struggle. And though it’s much better than the really dark days of not too long ago – when bad guys were dropping poor, helpless Hazara by the dozens – it seems the city might need some targeted attention of the security establishment. The past week alone saw two senior police officers murdered. And the past month saw to more high-profile attacks. For a city that is neither as large nor as densely populated as other, far more secure, urban centres, Quetta has displayed a striking ability to attract terrorists and terrorism alike. It seems to have both terrorist sanctuaries – that the government struggles to eliminate – and fitting targets – Shi’a minorities and security officials.
For some time now the city has averaged at least four or five high profile attacks every one or two months. Now, with CPEC sweeping through the country, especially the region, this will have to change drastically. The ‘gamechanger’ will not change anything if bombs and bullets continue to go off at the present pace in Quetta – and, of course, the rest of the province. Quetta’s present situation is largely Pakistan’s own fault. For far too long we stuffed it with proxies. Then we turned a blind eye as they mutated. Then we didn’t change while the world was changing. Now, if we don’t finally take control and eliminate terrorism, it will change us forever, and for much the worse.