Demand for Army Takeover Ignored Causes of Killings

Feb 2013

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There is also an indication that Balochistan has become the battleground for a proxy war. Gwadar port is being handed over to China–a concern for many neighboring countries. And gulf countries could be concerned with Pakistan’s new economic ties with Iran. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi could be the security establishment’s way of maintaining control.

All of this indicates that the army is not the solution, but the problem.While Shia organizations all over the country demanded army rule, the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP), the only political representative of the Hazaras of Quetta, did not conform with this demand. Instead, the HDP asked military institutions to lead an operation against the terrorists.

The HDP recognizes that Balochistan suffers multifaceted issues that can only be done away with through the adoption of a unanimous and consensual political solution. If the army were the answer, the five military operations conducted in Balochistan should have resolved the lingering issues in the province.

The incompetence of the civilian security apparatus has prompted the Hazaras, and the HDP, to suggest that the government establish an impartial interim setup, empowered to seek the help of the army in launching a clean-up operation against the mass murderers of Quetta. Given that the government has had the full support–at least in principle–of Pakistan’s security agencies, there is an indication that someone somewhere is unwilling to act.

Let us hope that this round of killings finally pushes the government to catch the killers. If the mass murderers of Alamdar Road and Hazara Town are brought to justice, perhaps the victims of those who have died can find some peace.

Asmatyari is the president of the Hazara Student Federation (HSF), the student wing of the Hazara Democratic Party. He is also a lecturer at a private college, and can be reached at asmatyari@gmail.com.

 

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