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Quetta blast: were parliamentarians the target?

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News Analysis |

The police and intelligence agencies are still trying to assess the target of yesterday’s Quetta attack. They are of the opinion that the parliamentarians were the actual target of the suicide bomber, who in frustration ended up blowing himself in a police convoy. The attack took place outside Baluchistan’s parliament when an important session was going to take place.

Intelligence agencies are also looking into the motive of the attack since it took place at a critical time when the future of Baluchistan’s government was going to be decided inside the parliament. A suicide bomber blew himself up in front of a Baluchistan constabulary personnel truck, 300 meters outside the provincial parliament in Quetta. The terrorist was between the ages of 15 to 20 and was wearing 8 to 10 kilograms of explosives.

Baluchistan has experienced more terrorist attacks and suffered more casualties in the past 10 years than any province in the country.

Seven people including five policemen and two civilians were martyred, while 23 people were injured in the tragedy. The injured were brought to the civil hospital Baluchistan, the death poll is likely to rise since some victims sustained dangerous injuries. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Read more: Quetta carnage continues, will there be a respite?

An important session of Baluchistan parliament was scheduled to take place yesterday. The no-confidence motion against former chief minister Sanaullah Zehri was going to be discussed in that session. Zehri gave his resignation to the governor before the session could take place, if he had not given his resignation, the parliamentary session would have been underway as scheduled and the terrorist could have easily targeted key figures of the Baluchistan assembly.

The attack happened an hour after Zehri gave his resignation. Facts suggest that it was a pre-planned attack to sabotage peace in the whole province since an attack on the Baluch leadership would have created a huge crisis that would have spread all across the country. A number of insurgent and terrorist groups are operating inside Baluchistan. Evidence has also been found of the presence of India and Afghanistan’s intelligence agencies RAW and NDS respectively.

While the TTP has claimed the responsibility for the attack, the real motive behind the attack is still obscure, which foreign agency funded them, who ordered the attack are questions that every Pakistani is asking.

 Baluch insurgent groups like Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA), Baluchistan Republican Party (BPR) and Lashkar-e-Balochistan (LeB) have been involved in terrorist activities in the past. ISIS has also claimed attacks in the province; the latest one was in a church in Quetta, claiming the lives of 9 innocents. These groups causing havoc in Baluchistan are believed to be operated from across the border, from Afghanistan and Iran. Other religious militant groups like TTP and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi are also present in the province.

Read more: Quetta bleeds again: Why Balochistan continues to be on terror hit…

The separatist groups in Baluchistan claim that they are economically marginalised and backward compared to the rest of the country, and that their rights have been curbed by the federal government. They have targeted political and governmental figures in the past. India has been supporting them in their case, in a diabolic attempt to disintegrate Pakistan.

Kulbushan was called a terrible spy and a mistake because he was not a local, he couldn’t disappear in the crowd because of his Indian heritage and he was not aware of Baluch culture, norms and religion.

In 2016, an Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav was caught in Baluchistan and he has since confessed to conspiring terrorist attacks in the region, and offering monetary and logistical support to the terrorist groups in Afghanistan. Most of the terrorist groups in Baluchistan are experts in espionage and camouflage; they recruit local people to easily blend with the crowd. These terrorists can speak the local language, share religion with the local people, and are aware of their culture and norms.

Read more: Suicide bombing in Quetta church kills 9

 That makes it very hard for the security forces to successfully identify them and prove their terrorist affiliations. Last week, the Indian news website, The Quint also iterated the same point in a now highly controversial, deleted article. Kulbushan was called a terrible spy and a mistake because he was not a local, he couldn’t disappear in the crowd because of his Indian heritage and he was not aware of Baluch culture, norms and religion.

While the TTP has claimed the responsibility for the attack, the real motive behind the attack is still obscure, which foreign agency funded them, who ordered the attack are questions that every Pakistani is asking. Baluchistan has experienced more terrorist attacks and suffered more casualties in the past 10 years than any province in the country. Pakistan should knock on the door of foreign mediators and the United Nations regarding the foreign funded attacks in Baluchistan.


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