Balochistan needs serious attention
The brutal killing of 11 miners of Hazara community in Mach area of Balochistan province has raised many questions about five significant aspects; the worsening law and order situation in the province, vulnerable communities, writ of the provincial government, overarching role of the federal government and the external factor. As a precedence after all terrorist attacks in Pakistan, the external factor is immediately quoted and highlighted in order to cover-up the other four aspects mentioned above. Resultantly, no one really goes into the nitty-gritty and in-depth investigation of such violence until there is a repeat of another terrorist attacks and blame again passed on to external elements. Moreover, there is no clear identification of the external factor; their location, motives, means of transportation, weapons and ammunition, liaison with local attackers, execution phase and finally their escape routes after terrorist attack(s). In this entire process, what is the role of provincial law enforcement agencies and intelligence network?
The province of Balochistan constitutes 43% of the total landmass of Pakistan. The province has been bestowed with tremendous potentials of natural sources with high mountain barriers and a long coastal area. The people of the province are hard worker, tough, intelligent and loyal to their motherland. Unfortunately, owing to poor development over the years, lack of education and other basic facilities and bad governance system the masses of the province felt deprived and ignored. The deprivation of the masses became their vulnerability which was exploited by local feudal lot and external factors; the spying agencies of regional states and international powers. Resultantly, there remained phases of instability in the province for quite some time. This marvellous province of Pakistan has under gone various regional and international conspiracies. The sub-nationalist groups have established their armed terrorist organizations like; BLA, BRA, BLF etc. These dissidents have been attacking the local population and law enforcement agencies for furtherance of their vested ulterior motives for decades now. Besides, there are many religiously motivated groups who have been undertaking attacks on some vulnerable communities like Hazara community. The frequency of the terrorist attacks remained very high from 2005 to 2010. From 2011 to 2020, there has been a gradual slow-down in the frequency of violent terrorist attacks in the province and many armed groups even surrendered to accept the writ of state. During these years, there has been a noticeable change in the outlook of the province, which can be attributed to the awareness among the people of Balochistan.
The instability and chaos is used by external forces for defaming Pakistan, further exploiting local populace and to implement their vested strategic interests. This aspect needs serious attention by the provincial government by re-setting the priorities for maintaining law and order in the province. The aspect of security of vulnerable communities like Hazara is yet another failure of provincial government. There have been repeated killings of this community in last decade. The temporary and momentary security measures, taken by the provincial government are neither sufficient nor long-lasting to secure them. A long-term security measures with an inbuilt sense ownership and being secured has to be devised by the provincial Government in consultation with Hazara community and all those being exploited by sub-nationalist groups.
The provincial Government has to establish its writ outside Quetta and major cities of the province. In this regard, there is a need for the re-assessment of the vulnerable areas, key locations, population centres, major routes and threat perception. The provincial Government of Balochistan must improve its governance system by concentrating on the masses. The current elite centric approach has to be changed with a primary focus on people. In this regards, the youth of Province must get maximum employment opportunities. Indeed, the terrorism and militancy are direct outcome of idleness. The massive budget of the province must be spent judiciously on the people of province, especially in their education, health and provision of basic facilities. Such measures will enable the government to have a write all over the province by eliminating causes of violence and militancy.