The savage and cold-blooded murderers sifted through the passengers on board a Gilgit-bound bus and, later, three minibuses, separated and gunned down 18 Shias. Jundallah, a faction of the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for this unforgivable crime. Indeed they have little remorse over the brazen deed attested by the statement of their spokesperson: “They were Shias and our mujahideen shot them dead.” News of this butchery has saddened the whole country. People from all strata of society and religious belief have condemned it. However, sectarian tension has mounted enough to strengthen fears of a potential law and order situation in the Shia majority city of Gilgit and its suburbs. The Kohistan incident resembles a pattern in which Shia pilgrims had been killed in the Mastung area of Balochistan last year. Banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) had claimed responsibility for that massacre. The terrorists have repeated it, once again, and really…why would they not? Nothing concrete has come out of the investigations into the Mastung incident. The near-nil performance of the law enforcers is in front of us all.
The LeJ with a new alias is continuing its terrorist activities, as they have little to fear. Some analysts and ‘religious circles’ are terming Kohistan’s incident as another attempt of the saboteurs of peace to trigger sectarian violence and clashes in the country. They seem to be right, as there have been such examples in the past, which caused many deadly clashes between the country’s majority Sunni community and Shia minority despite the fact that both basically believe in the same God whose religion preaches peace and teaches compassion and tolerance towards other human beings. How can these terrorists justify and preach their brand of Islam after wreaking so much havoc through the length and breadth of Pakistan?
The law enforcement agencies have to deal with these terrorists sternly. Their ruthlessness has to be answered with the same severity. At the moment, Pakistan cannot afford a sectarian rift, as it is already going through a tough time being part of the war on terror. Our security forces should keep in mind that our war against terrorism has not ended. There is still a long way to go before we breathe a sigh of relief. These terrorists are still present across our country with an aim to achieve their sinister designs of occupying nuclear-armed Pakistan through forcing its people to practice their unpopular religious beliefs. We are faced with an extraordinarily callous enemy and a line has to be drawn — clear and deep. A crackdown has to be launched aimed for their bases immediately to disincentivise any future adventures.
The government needs to be clear that it has enemies within that must be dealt with before perceived enemies ‘abroad’ become a concern. Right of freedom of movement is a basic human right as holy as any other. It is the government’s function to ensure that right for its citizens. As for sectarianism — that is a violation of every citizen’s rights. For an organisation to believe it is above the law of civilisation and convention is dangerous beyond expression. It must be curbed with the stroke of finality. – Dailytimes