Resolving Balochistan’s problems

The prime minister finally visited Quetta just hours after the Hazaras buried the eleven coalminers brutally killed in Machh and ended their protests. Despite the controversy and politicization prior to the visit, it must be welcomed that issue has been resolved amicably.

During the brief visit, the prime minister was briefed on the law and order situation in the province. He met the families of slain miners and assured them that their genuine concerns will be addressed and the state will ensure their well-being. The Hazara families said they trusted the prime minister to solve their problems and thus wanted him to visit them. The government has accepted many of their demands and has agreed to bring the perpetrators of the massacre to justice.

It must be appreciated that the prime minister visited the Hazara families as promised after the burial. While the preparations were being made for his visit, different political and religious parties exploited the occasion to target him and put forward their demands. After the disastrous statement calling the protestors as blackmailers, there was immense criticism that he was too egotistic to visit them. The prime minister certainly faces a security threat and was advised by his advisers to refrain from visiting in such a situation.

While the matter has been resolved, for now at least, it must be realized that the Hazara are still at risk. The minority community has been targeted for over two decades now. In the past 18 years, there have been around 80 terror attacks and over 1600 people have lost their lives. After being targeted by sectarian extremist groups, they are now attacked by global terror groups like ISIS who accepted responsibility for the Machh attack.

The law and order situation is worsening despite the efforts by security forces. Baloch separatists, funded by India’s RAW and the Afghan NDS, are routinely carrying our terror attacks. The government has blamed foreign interference for the Machh attack. Balochistan is vulnerable as CPEC passes through the area and our enemies are creating hindrances in the development of the province.

It is imperative that the government solves the problems being faced by the neglected people of Balochistan including the Hazaras. The government should not give mere assurances but take practical steps to solve their problems to maintain peace in the province.

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