Bloodshed in Balochistan | Pakistan Today

Bloodshed in Balochistan

  • Terrorism will not be defeated unless the NAP is implemented

Terrorists murdered 14 people after dragging them from a bus and shooting them in the head. A Baloch separatist group, the Baloch Ajoi Sangar, has claimed responsibility, and claimed the gory killings were carried out after the victims were found carrying Pakistan Navy or Coastguard ID cards. The killings on the Makran Coastal Highway on Thursday followed the massacre of Hazaras in Quetta, in which 20 were killed and 48 injured, and the bomb blast in Chaman, which killed one and injured seven, making it a blood-soaked month all over the province. The sources of the deaths are disparate. Those who claim to have targeted Navy personnel on the Maran Coast are not associated with those killing Hazaras in Quetta. However, it shows that terrorism cannot be blamed on religious extremists any more than nationalists. It also shows that Balochistan is afflicted by sectarian terrorists as well as violent secessionists, and the National Action Plan must be framed so as to include nationalists.

However, perhaps the contents of NAP are moot, because it is not being implemented even in its present shape. It should be remembered that there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ terrorists, there are only killers. Once the door is opened for any kind of terrorism, other sections of opinion find its more extreme members turn to violent means. There is not just the need for capturing the perpetrators of these incidents, and their facilitators, but also tackling the violent and hate-filled mind-set which produces this. The primary factors are the creation of an atmosphere where opinions are expressed, and not enforced; and the right of disagreement is freely conceded to others.

It should not be forgotten that those who commit such crimes are not criminals in the sense that they are committing their crimes so as to gain their living, but their lack of gainful employment leaves them free to carry out such heinous deeds. Along with implementing NAP, it is necessary to find jobs for the youth of Balochistan, so that extremists of whatever stripe find potential recruits too busy with their own affairs to listen. Education being a provincial subject, the federal government must take a backseat on this. The need of its ministers to strike heroic poses must give way to the need for results.