Thursday, August 22, 2019
Another day and another targeted killing; this time in Kuchlak, Balochistan. On Friday, a prayer leader was killed while another imam was also assassinated in the same area on the outskirts of the provincial capital on Saturday. In the Friday incident at Al-Haj mosque, the targeted imam was a brother of the Afghan Taliban chief Haibatullah Akhundzada. The Saturday attack killed the imam of Usman bin Afaan mosque. The police say the deceased was an Afghan citizen and had been the imam of the mosque for many years. The new wave of target killings has not been claimed by anyone. The Afghan Taliban, who are negotiating a peace deal with the US in Doha, were quick to release a statement that the killing of their chief’s brother would not impact the talks. These developments suggest that the recent spree of killings stems either from infighting in the Taliban or actions of foreign hostile agencies. Factions within the Taliban might have sprung into action after the insurgents as well as US officials mentioned significance progress in talks. Some foreign agencies that want to thwart the US-Taliban deal could also be behind the fresh bloodshed.
Either way, the recent attacks point towards presence of Taliban elements in Balochistan, creating multiple security challenges for the government and the local population, such as the Shia Hazara. The government must take action against the district administration that let foreign citizens work in local mosques without any check. This cannot happen without the active support of local sleeper or active cells of militants or those sympathetic to militant groups in Afghanistan. The world would again put Pakistan under the spotlight. Over the years, we have been denying the presence of the so-called Quetta Shura of the Afghan Taliban. The security forces must purge Balochistan and other parts of the country from such militant groups. Pakistan should not become the sanctuary of the Taliban for the sake of the security of its own people.
In recent months, security forces have inflicted deadly blows to Baloch insurgents, who claimed the lives of 119 people – including 15 police personnel – and injured 114 in terrorism-related incidents in 2018. The militants must, immediately, be flushed out of Balochistan.
|*March 6, 2000; **August 18, 2019; Source: SATP|
|June 15 is a historic day for us. Before Zarb-e-Azb, the country, including North Waziristan was plagued with terrorism. 490 soldiers of the Pakistan Army have died in the line of duty during Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Over a period of two years, an area of 3,600 square kilometres in North Waziristan has been cleared of terrorists. A total of 3,500 terrorists, including 900 Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) were killed, leaving 992 hideouts destroyed. Army successfully seized 253 tons of explosives – enough to make IEDs from for at least 15 years (sic).|
|We remind you [residents] that similar statements issued by Taliban several times in the past had fallen on deaf ears, but this time we are going to take to task those who violate the Taliban order. There will be no use of DJs, neither inside the house nor in open fields and those ignoring the warning will be responsible for consequences. Polio workers have been asked to do finger-marking of children during the vaccination campaign, but told not to administer polio drops to children or be ready to face dire consequences for defying the instruction. Women shouldn’t go out of their homes alone as it is harmful for our society. There is one informer of Mujahideen in every three people and it was misconception on the part of the people to think we will not get information about non-compliance of our order. Follow the order or be ready to face worst consequences.|