Welcome to Quetta – a place where 10-year-old children know the fear of terror and where the prospect of success and education lies on the backdrop of threats from people who have shown barbarism continuously.
A few weeks ago I called home in Quetta, after talking for awhile, I asked about the education of my nieces and nephews. I was told that one of my 10 years niece has stopped going to school for the last couple of days. She had told at home that she was sick and had a colic. But when I talked to her, she said that it was a lie and that she was not sick, rather, she was afraid of death.
A few days after the bomb blast on lawyers and later on the police, schools were threatened by terrorists, especially girls’ schools. It was that threat that haunted her and forced her to lie about the sickness. It was hard to imagine a 10-year-old, not even fully aware of what death is and what lies after it, so scared of death, but unfortunately, it has become reality now.
Welcome to Quetta – a place where 10-year-old children know the fear of terror and where the prospect of success and education lies on the backdrop of threats from people who have shown the barbarism continuously. She studies in the same school in front of which a bomb was detonated in a university bus a couple of years ago. The calamity is that the terror since then has increased more and more innocent people have died, amid, this government remains incompetent: bolstered by fabricated lies.
Quetta commission report
The 15th December Quetta commission report, which aimed to investigate the August Quetta lawyers carnage, by justices Qazi Faiz Isa, implicitly portrayed the gross negligence of Baluchistan and the federal government.
It mentioned the inability of Home minister and Chief minister—Pandering people with the spurious terse statement by blaming Raw and Khade after every attack; diverting people’s’ attention from the reality and igniting the unwanted chauvinism. The reality is that the terrorists of the Lawyers attack were literally living 3 km away from the Home minister and Chief minister offices in ‘Deeba.’ All of them were the permanent citizens of Pakistan. This crystallizes the reality of government: that it is limited in its approaches and abilities and survives on bromides.
The report further shed light on the expenditure of trillions of dollars to combat terrorism. Hopelessly the result is that professional combating bodies like police and Frontier Corps do not even have the minimal ability to cope with the situation, rather, after every blast, they engage themselves in aerial firing: frightening the victims more and disabling medical assistance. On the contrary, the heads of the same terrorist organizations, which are prescribed under section 11 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, that conduct the attacks claiming the responsibility, and that threaten the lives of innocent school children every day, are the guests of interior minister Chaudary Nisar and media channels. How can the audacity of such terrorists be demised when their leadership is encouraged on an elite level? And does it mean that we – call the current government terrorists, under section 11w of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, for their affiliation with the proscribed organizations?
Nevertheless, the calamity is regarding how a body of professionals that cannot even enhance the video picture of a terrorist from CCTV footage and does not even value forensic investigation protect the lives of an ordinary citizen by identifying and catching these terrorists? Similarly, how can the fear of terror be harnessed when the guardian of the city themselves, who wander around in bomb and bullet protected vehicles, be aware of the threat that every 10-year kid faces each day while going to school? What future can the people of Baluchistan see in the wake of such threats and attacks for their children? How much learning can be done in the atmosphere haunted by the trauma of blasts and death? How much difficulty does a teacher have to face in justifying the claims of textbooks that glorify the role of the state and its entities in protecting the lives of its children? And finally who wouldn’t burst into tears if put, themselves, in the shoe of that 10-year-old who is haunted by the fear of death?
The Quetta commission report is the testimony that thousands of school students study in fear, hundreds of mothers, wives, children are alienated from their loved ones due to the incompetency, corruption, and lack of interest of our government.
I will not hesitate to call interior minister accountable. Similarly, proper precaution with forensic investigation in the past, proper police training, and the minister’s involvement in initiating counter-extremism programs, if taken, could have harnessed the inevitability of such attacks; but alas, our incompetent leaders do not realize the importance of such measures, and rather, the trillion of dollars that are spent go in vain and cities like Quetta remain the victims. Finally, the supreme court should not hesitate in bringing these culprits in the court for their in inability in preventing such attacks.