- Need for a fresh approach
Terrorism continues to rise in Balochistan with the latest incident claiming the lives of seven FC soldiers as militants attacked a checkpost resulting in an intense exchange of fire. A majority of these attacks are targeted at security personnel, which shows the enemies’ clear intent to weaken the effectiveness and morale of law enforcement agencies in the province. Parallel to this, attacks on civilians, like the one that took place on the same day as the one on paramilitary troops where a bomb blast killed two people and injured several more, continue unabated. Although security forces regularly carry out intelligence based operations in various districts of Balochistan, like the one in Awaran district a week back in which ten terrorists were killed, the enemy still manages to find space from where it operates quite effectively to inflict considerable damage. One of the more prominent groups responsible for the violence is the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), which also carried out the attack on the PSX back in June in Karachi, showing how the terrorist outfit is capable of hitting targets outside Balochistan as well. The PSX attack was thwarted due to the timely action of security guards and police present at the scene who lost their lives, otherwise it could have easily turned into a bloodbath had the attackers penetrated the gates of the compound.
Pakistan also continues to highlight how India’s intelligence agency RAW is supporting groups such as the BLA to create chaos in Balochistan. In the past, insurgents from Iran have crossed the border and carried out attacks on Pakistani soil as well. A weak provincial government with limited funding and expertise to improve the civilian side of the security apparatus only adds to the problem. Given the volatile security situation in Balochistan and the ability of terrorist outfits operating in the region, aided by foreign powers, to carry out violent attacks, despite efforts to control it; a revised strategy is required because clearly the present one is not working. However, the first step in this exercise would be for both the federal and provincial governments, along with relevant security and intelligence agencies to recognize that there is a problem, only then can a solution be devised and implemented.