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The Unfortunate Balochistan

Daily Times, Pakistan

Looking at the literacy rate of Balochistan, it is obvious that its education system is abysmal. When you entera hospital, it is evident that the health system is far below the standard. Travelling to its far-flung regions, weak infrastructure is the biggest hurdle in the way of progress. Interacting with its youth, unemployment is clearlythe issue that is to be resolved. In public offices, corruption is the main reason of failure. The living standard of its people show that poverty is a huge problem. Evaluation of policies is an evidence of bad governance being the mother of all problems. Frequent bomb blasts and targeted killing show that terrorism is Balochistan’s biggest problem that needs to be resolved immediately.

It is very unfortunate that Balochistan has lost generations to terrorism and targeted killing in the last two decades. All the communities in the province, including the Baloch, the Pashtun, and the Hazara, have been victims of terrorism and sectarian violence. After each attack, people protest and ask the state for solid intelligence-based security, but the state always seems incompetent to cope with such challenges.

All over the world, a new year is celebrated with goodwishes and cheer,but Balochistan welcomes each new year with bomb blasts and terrorist attacks. Last year, on the very first day of the year, the district Loralai was shaken by terrorism. This year starts with a suicide attack in a mosque inSatellite Town, Quetta. Another sad new year.

At least fifteen people lost their lives in the blast, including Deputy Superintendent of Police Amanullah Ishaqzai. The ISIS claimed the responsibility for the attack.The real target was a senior police officer. Sadly, the tragedy for DSP Ishaqzai’s family was doubled as he had lost his young son Najeebullah in an apparent targeted killing one month ago.Unfortunately, we are content to have the title of shaheed (martyr) bestowed upon victims of terrorism even if we are not on the front fighting to protectthe state.

All over the world, a new year is celebrated with good wishes and cheer, but Balochistan welcomes each new year with bomb blasts and terrorist attacks

It must be understood that only accepting the titleand silently sitting back would never help. Instead, responsible citizens must raise their voices for justice and protection. It is the responsibility of the state to do an inquiry of the incident and provide justice to the victims.

Despite security check posts on every corner, every road and every entrance of Quetta, the provincial capital cannot be called a safe city. How is it possible for a terrorist to cross all thecheck posts calmly and succeed in his mission? The security failure is obvious, and the state should admit that it has failed to protect the citizens. Bad governance and incompetent administration can never bring peace in the province. The longer the incompetency continuesthe more terrorism would harm.

It seems absurd when the prime minister and the chief minister of Balochistan condemn any attack with a tweet. The few words on Twitter cannot heal the grief of a woman who has lost her young son and husband in attacks. Serious steps and security measures must be taken in order to prevent such attacks.

Unfortunately, none of the mainstream news channels gave coverage to the recent incident on their primetime programmes.

All were busy discussing politics while some played only a two-minutepackage of the incident after 10 pm. This is the importance of Balochistan in the mainstream media. Apparently, there are some people who think that giving no coverage toterrorist attacks would promote a positive image of Balochistan. However, this is mere deception and injustice to the people of Balochistan.

The term ‘mother’ is often used for a state because it takes care of its citizens, irrespective of caste, colour, creed, sect or religion. The state of Pakistan must realise its responsibility to provide security and justice to its citizens. It must learn from its policies in the past that providing land and interfering in the war of other countries lead to dire consequences. Pakistan must stay neutral in the US-Iran conflict if it wants its future free of terrorism.

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