Pakistan is bleeding. Pakistan is burning. Pakistan is declining. And the
tragedy is that there is no one who could stop this eventuality; there is no
leadership who could create peace in this poverty-stricken and conflict-riddled
land; there is no institution which could protect the fundamental rights of the
Pakistanis; there is no force which could crush the menace of terrorism, sectarianism,
extremism, corruption, poverty and ignorance. The State, the government
and its all institutions have utterly disappointed the Pakistanis.
people have become disillusioned with the false pledges, erroneous assertions
and hyperbolic slogans of the corrupt leadership of the country. In short,
there is no hope for the poor people to lead a prosperous, productive and
peaceful life in this "land of the pure". Due to this uncertainty, insecurity and
hopelessness, even, a heavy pall hangs over the country, blighting what
should be unalloyed joyous occasions.
Even in the holy month of Ramazan and just before Eid ul Fitar, around
300 innocent people, including children and women, have lost their lives in
different incidents of terrorism in Parachanar, Quetta, Karachi and the oil
tanker blast tragedy in Bahawalpur.
On June 23, the last Friday of Ramazan (Jumma tul Wida), around 90 innocent
people were killed and more than 200 others injured in two different
terror attacks in Parachinar and Quetta. The death toll from Friday's two
blasts is still increasing and there are still many injured persons who are in a
very critical condition.
According to reports, "the first blast, which took place in the busy Turi Market
where people were shopping for Eid, occurred minutes after an Al Quds
Day rally had started dispersing at some distance from the scene of the attack.
Another explosion shook the area soon after a large number of people
rushed to the site to help the injured". The Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al-Alami has
claimed the responsibility of these two terror blasts.
In fact, Parachinar, capital of Kurram Agency in FATA, a mainly Shia area
in the tribal belt, has become a constant target of terrorism this year. Before Friday's attacks, the terrorists, belonging to the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al-
Alami and a splinter group of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
led by Sheheryar Mehsud, killed 24 people in January 2017. In March, the
militants killed around 22 people in a second terror attack. The terrorists belonging
to the Jamaatul Ahrar claimed this attack. The gravity of the situation
can be realised by the fact that 133 people have been killed and 555 injured
in the first six months of the year. The terrorists have used the same pattern
in all the terror attacks. It is a security failure. The PML-N government has
egregiously failed the people of Parachinar.
"We have been a constant target of the Taliban, but the government has
always failed us," Muzamil Hussain, an activist from Parachinar told AFP. "I
don't understand how can someone drive a bomb-laden vehicle through all
the checkposts of the military and other paramilitary troops and reach here;
it simply isn't logical, and this is what we are protesting against," he said.
Members of the Shia community protested against these killings and the
government's failure to protect their lives. According to local officials, "They
offered their Eid prayers wearing black armbands in the market in Parachinar,
where the bombs tore through crowds of shoppers on Friday". The protesters
also rejected the compensation package announced by Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif that came a week after the incident. They demanded to be
treated like the rest of Pakistan. However, after the visit of the Army Chief to
Parachinar, the protestors ended their protest.
The Army Chief has pledged
to crush terrorists across the country and declared Parachinar a safe city.
Then, in another incident, terrorists belonging to the militant Islamic State
group and the Jamaatul Ahrar, killed 14 people, including 10 policemen in
Quetta. On that very day, militants killed four policemen in Karachi. They were
killed when they were breaking their fast at a roadside restaurant.
It is very strange that PM Nawaz Sharif has not visited the area of Parachinar.
It shows Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's callousness, carelessness, unpopularity
among the people and absence of any political solution to crush
terrorism. It also shows that the Panama case has absorbed all the energies
and attention of the PM. He only wants to protect his and his family's corruption,
political power and rule. In other words, the PM has literally become
blind to other important security-related issues which the country is facing.
Many analysts and politicians are of the view that Nawaz Sharif gives importance
to the Punjab only. They say that "the prime minister left London to
rush to Bahawalpur. The naysayers were unimpressed: prior attacks in FATA
and two other provinces didn't shatter his complacency, so why this? We
hoped he would prove them wrong. Instead the naysayers were proven right.
Bahawalpur is part of Punjab. Parachinar is not. Quetta is not. Karachi is not.
As of this writing, the prime minister has visited one of the above, and none
These terror incidents clearly manifest that, in spite of sacrificing lives of
around 65,000 civilians and 6,000 security personnel and spending more
than £120 billion, the war against terror is still proceeding. There is no respite
in terror attacks in the country and the government and the army have failed
to conclusively defeat the terrorists.
The Parachinar attacks clearly show that terrorists are trying to ignite sectarian
war in Pakistan. It is the duty of our government and security agencies
to foil the evil designs of the sectarian ISIS and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi by taking
pre-emptive measures. No doubt, there was a security lapse in Parachinar
and Kurram Agency which should not be repeated. The government is not
serious about implementing NAP (National Action Plan) fully. It should keep
aside its partisan interests and give priority to national interests. The war
against terrorism cannot be won without getting rid of poverty, corruption, unemployment,
inept police and judicial systems, ignorance, feudalism , economic
inequality and foiling the conspiracies of external forces like the Indian
RAW, the Afghan NDS the American CIA and Israel's Mossad.
The Bahawalpur tragedy - in which 206 innocent people, including children
and women, were burnt alive - could have been avoided. But, there was
no road police and safety awareness. The investigative report on this tragic
oil tanker inferno suggests that the police showed negligence which turned
the accident into a calamity. The motorway police did not play its role professionally.
There was not a large contingent of police to stop the people from
collecting the spilled oil. There was no senior officer in place. It is a fact that
the SHO and the AC reached the spot very late. There was no staff present
at the site from the disaster management department. There were no burn
units in the hospitals of the area. After ruling Punjab for more than 20 years,
the PML-N government has done nothing for the people of that backward
area. It has just plundered the poor people of Pakistan. The corrupt PML-N
government is diverting funds allocated for hospitals and education to building
roads and bridges to earn more kickbacks and commissions. They are tools
in the hands of "economic hitman". They are deliberately ignoring the education
and health sectors.
The people of Pakistan need education, good health and economic prosperity.
But, Pakistani leaders are not willing to provide these life-giving,
progress-making and nation-developing facilities to the poor people of Pakistan
as these things are threat to their corrupt rule. The ruling elite likes to
build its rule on the dead bodies of the poor Pakistanis. The callous ruling
elite should pay heed to columnist Fahad Hussain's words: "Parachinar.
Again. Quetta. Again. Karachi. Again. The same terror, the same carnage.
The same murder, madness and mayhem. Yet again they strike. Yet again
we fail. Yet again we die…"
No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent,
a part of the main… Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved
in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls