It is very unfortunate that once again terrorists targeted Hazara community in Quetta and at least 20 people martyred in a vegetable market. According to media reports, the Islamic State,
claimed responsibility for the suicide attack, as the provincial capital mourned the irreparable loss of the precious lives.
The attack ripped through the outdoor market, martyring at least 20 people and injuring 48 others.
Interestingly, the terrorist attack was also claimed by a faction of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which said it collaborated with the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. However, no official
confirmation came from the latter.
The Hazara community of Quetta is reportedly staging a sit-in on the Western Bypass since Friday to protest against what they term the persistent failure of the law enforcement authorities to
provide them security in Balochistan and across Pakistan. Members of the community, including women and children, set tyres on fire and blocked the Western Bypass, while protests
were also staged in front of the Quetta Press Club. As the sit-in at Western Bypass entered its second day on Saturday, the protesters remained steadfast on their demands – immediate action against the perpetrators of the attacks; implementation of the National Action Plan without any
discrimination, and an earnest effort by the state to fulfill its responsibility of providing security to its people.
The attacks were condemned by leaders of all political parties and there were renewed calls for a comprehensive security plan for Balochistan and proper implementation of NAP. Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan on Saturday visited the protest camp and vowed that terrorists involved in the deadly blast will be brought to book. He said the provincial government shares
the grief of those who lost their loved ones in the blast. He said terrorists are a collective enemy of all and not just a particular tribe or a province.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader and Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi also visited Quetta. After offering prayers at the graves of the victims, he spoke to media to reiterate the federal government’s resolve to bolster Balochistan’s security situation. The Hazara community has been disproportionately targeted violence as they are easily identifiable due to their distinctive
physical appearance. Although ongoing war against terrorism has significantly improved law and order situation in the country but still much more efforts are needed to completely destroy the infrastructure of the terrorists. The Central and Balochistan government must
take concrete steps to root out violence and terrorism in the province and particularly safety of Hazara community must be ensured.