An analyst says Pakistan has reacted coldheartedly to the recent Shia carnage in the country as it could have been controlled with ‘better intelligence, better vigilance and above all the resolve to do so.’
The comment comes as the death toll from a bomb attack targeting Shia Muslims in a... Show More >>An analyst says Pakistan has reacted coldheartedly to the recent Shia carnage in the country as it could have been controlled with ‘better intelligence, better vigilance and above all the resolve to do so.’
The comment comes as the death toll from a bomb attack targeting Shia Muslims in a market in Pakistan has climbed to 90, as the victims\' families continue their sit-in for the second consecutive day in the city of Quetta demanding government protection.
The bombing tore through the crowded vegetable market in the town of Hazara, on the outskirts of Quetta in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan Province, on Saturday. The area is mostly inhabited by Shia Muslims.
On Tuesday, the mourning relatives of the victims refused to bury the bodies of their loved ones unless the government takes concrete actions and finds the perpetrators of the slaughter.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Islamabad-based political and security analyst Sultan Mahmood Hali to further discuss the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Mr. Hali welcome to the program. Would you go as far as saying that the government in Pakistan as the Hazara community is saying is responsible for a rise in the Shia killings?
Hali: Well, I won’t hold the government of Pakistan responsible for Shia killings but I would definitely call it a certain amount of callousness because they have not been able to protect the lives of the Hazaras.
What happened on January 10th this year was a terrible situation in which nearly a hundred Hazaras were killed and then they staged a demonstration refusing to bury their dead and what they are doing now is an instant replay of the same.
But as a result of that previous showdown the demand of the Hazaras was that the inept provincial government should be dismissed which it was and a government’s rule has been imposed but apparently if such a massive attack has taken place in which as reports indicate that the bomb was hidden in a major trailer then I think it is not only a failure of the intelligence agency but also the failure of the governor who had promised to look after the Hazaras.
Now you see if there is a will there is a way. If you recall just about a year or so back in Baluchistan there was a major targeting of the non-Baluchi settlers in Baluchistan at which the government cracked down and managed to stop that particular attack.
So why can’t they do that now for the Hazaras? Are the Hazaras dispensable? No they are not. They are very much a part of Pakistan. So the only thing which must be done is that desperate times call for desperate measures and the Hazaras are demanding that the Pakistan army be called in.
Unless the Pakistani army is called in although that’s the last resort but perhaps that will have to be taken to prevent the loss of more innocent lives.
Press TV: Mr. Hali just quickly, we are a bit short of time. We did see the new Baluchistan governor saying that the security forces or the government forces are scared of the militants and that’s why they’re not taking action. Some were saying that this is just shifting the blame; that actually the government is knowingly not taking action?
Hali: Well, I’m afraid there is an element of truth in it. As I just told you that there was an incident earlier in which the non-Baluchis were being targeted.
So if the government decides to take a very stern action, they can very well control this because the militants after all at the end of the day they are humans, they are not super humans.
So I am sure they can be controlled with better intelligence, with better vigilance and more importantly the resolve to get to them.
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