- Result of years of neglect
Four terror attacks have taken place in the span of four weeks in Quetta resulting in at least 12 deaths together with many injured. Last month, the provincial capital’s police were the target with a blast outside a police station that claimed the life of one policeman among five casualties. The latest attack took place at a seminary in Kuchlak on the outskirts of Quetta on Friday where it seems the Imam there, who was reportedly the brother of Afghan Taliban Chief Hibatullah Akhundzada, was the target. A timed explosive device was place under his chair that went off killing him instantly. The specificity associated with this attack can be construed as an attempt by certain non-state elements to create more unrest within the area. In recent months law enforcement agencies and minority groups have been increasingly targeted by a variety of terror outfits and insurgents. It is unfortunate that while the rest of the country remains relatively secure from such heinous acts of terrorism Balochistan has not received the same relief. That a majority of these attacks have taken place in Quetta, that is a very small city in terms of both area and demography, suggests a criminal level of neglect by the current and previous provincial and federal governments, not to mention the various agencies that have been present there for years.
As a follow-up parallel to the multiple anti-terrorism operations that took place in the country in recent years, safe city projects were installed as well. Major cities like Karachi, Lahore and the capital were equipped with CCTV cameras and patrolling units. No such infrastructure has been deployed in Quetta, resulting in an inability to gather actionable intelligence and information to either pre-empt attacks or hunt down the terrorists after the fact. It falls upon all stakeholders who take political advantage of Balochistan to form governments or secure hefty budgets to also provide security to the province like the rest of the country.