Shiffa Yousafzai |
Almost hundred innocent men, women and children are feared dead in the latest attack at Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Shrine in Sehwan Sharif, Sindh. Given the large number of injured and poor medical facilities in the region, death toll is expected to rise.
But this tragedy is not new. Pakistan has been subjected to hundreds of terrorist attacks in the past ten years plus. Ironically the recent spate of attacks are all being claimed by groups that are based in Afghanistan and Afghanistan is a country practically under US influence if not an outright occupation but neither the US nor the world is prepared to notice this anomaly.
One does not need rocket science to see that if all those groups opening claiming responsibility for terror attacks inside Pakistan are enjoying sanctuaries in Afghanistan, if Afghan intelligence NDS has a deep relationship with Indian counterparts, like RAW, then the Afghan government and the US, the occupying power can not be oblivious to what is happening.
However, if the World does not take notice of its anomalies, Pakistanis have no strategy, no clear thinking either to deal with terrorism. After this new wave of terror has hit the country no one exactly knows who to blame for the blasts in Quetta, Peshawar, Sehwan, Lahore and what to do. I was changing TV channels and monitoring twitter for some glimmer of hope and watched important Pakistanis react with their statements. And it was not very heartening.
Although ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack on the shrine last night but Chaudhry Nisar, Pakistan’s Interior Minister has claimed several times and on several occasions that ISIS is primarily based in the Middle East and has categorically denied its presence in Pakistan. Although he was not seen or heard anywhere last night after the Sehwan Sharif blasts, no statement came out from him – at least I could not find one till I am writing these lines.
100 martyred in last 5 day in 8 blasts in 4 provinces & FATA.#InferiorMinister Ch. Nisar is missing.
— Majid Agha (@Majid_Agha) February 16, 2017
Prominent and respected TV Anchor, Nadeem Malik faithfully reproduced DG ISPR’s tweet, affirming the popular belief that Pakistan Army can do something.
Terrorists acts are being executed on directions from hostile powers from sanctuaries in Afghanistan. We shall respond: @OfficialDGISPR
— Nadeem Malik (@nadeemmalik) February 16, 2017
Recent Ts acts are being exec on directions from hostile powers and from sanctuaries in Afghanistan. We shall defend and respond.
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) February 16, 2017
PM of Pakistan, who as Chief Executive of the country, is supposed to take concrete steps to defend his people hardly sounded reassuring to all those who are now worried for their safety. His statement continuously flashing on tv was like this:
“The past few days have been hard, and my heart is with the victims,” Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mian Nawaz Sharif
Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif’s main opponent, who has taken Sharif family on charges of corruption, after the Panama leaks demanded completed implementation of National Action Plan.
Also condemn cowardly attack against our soldiers in Awaran, Balochistan. We must reassert the priority of implementing NAP in its entirety
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) February 16, 2017
While most commentators directly blamed India and Afghanistan, there were some like prominent columnist and tv host, Rauf Klara who displeased many by asking this:
N1 be asked if its Afghan sponsored terror,how terrorists travelled KPK,punjab&attacked in Sindh without traced&caught?
Who is pathetic-me? https://t.co/yrAIErHcQO
— Rauf Klasra (@KlasraRauf) February 16, 2017
Pakistan Army as if reacting to pointed questions from Rauf Klara ordered closing of the border with Afghanistan.
Pakistan-Afghanistan Border closed with immediate effects till further orders due to security reasons.
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) February 16, 2017
Afghan Chief Executive, partner of President Asharf Ghani, in power sharing National Unity Government, Dr. Abdullah condemned the the attack in his tweet:
Afghanistan condemns the attack in #LalShahbazQalandar & offers sympathies to families of victims & people of #Pakistan. Must fight terror!
— Dr. Abdullah (@afgexecutive) February 17, 2017
Afghan Embassy officials were however called in GHQ and were provided with a list of 76 terrorists hiding in Afghanistan and Afghan officials were asked to hand those terrorists over to Pakistan.
Afg Embassy officials called in GHQ. Given list of 76 Ts hiding in Afg. Asked to take immediate action / be handed over to Pakistan.
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) February 17, 2017
None of these contradictions are so small as to be ignored by the international media, but no major western publication highlights these connections. Pakistan appears isolated on this issue – while its citizens die and those who survive life in mortal fear. Many parents in Islamabad did not send their children to school on Friday.
However few in Pakistan expect that Afghan government will oblige. One does not need rocket science to see that if all those groups opening claiming responsibility for terror attacks inside Pakistan are enjoying sanctuaries in Afghanistan, if Afghan intelligence NDS has a deep relationship with Indian counterparts, like RAW, then the Afghan government and the US, the occupying power can not be oblivious to what is happening. If still they are remain silent or profess inability then the issue is deep and complex. None of these facts are so small as to be ignored by the international media, but no major western publication highlights these connections. Pakistan appears isolated on this issue – while its citizens die and those who survive life in mortal fear. Many parents in Islamabad did not send their children to school on Friday.
Some journalists, like former MD of Pakistan TV (Ptv) were more worried that media must not show images from the blast site because it serves the purpose behind terrorism. Mohd Malik had a point, since its clear that terrorists and the forces behind them do their acts and stage events on ground to multiply effect through media.
TV channels must not show images of sewan sharif carnage cause they serve the terrorists purpose of spreading fear. Give news not images
— Mohammad Malick (@MalickViews) February 16, 2017
Actor Humayun Saeed was trying to sound brave. He opined that enemies of Pakistan will not succeed. What exactly is that they are still not being successful in, only Humayun Saeed can explain.
Whoever is behind these attacks aimed at destabilizing our country; know that you will never succeed. Prayers for victims of #SehwanAttack
— Humayun Saeed (@iamhumayunsaeed) February 16, 2017
Shiffa Yousafzai is a free lance journalist; she just completed her Masters in Multi-media journalism from Manchester Metropolitan University.Twitter: Shiffa_ZY