Over the last nine years, the capital of Baluchistan province of Pakistan, Quetta considered one of the important hubs of Taliban and other groups of militants has gradually turned into violent place for its residents to live. This strategically important city is only around 250 km away from Kandahar province of Afghanistan. This makes Kandahar city, the used-to-be capital of Taliban's Afghanistan, the closest city to Quetta.
The loosely controlled Chaman-Boldak border crossing between Baluchistan and Kandahar largely facilitates the in and out movements of militants and smuggling of weapons and drugs. After the US intervention in Afghanistan in 2001, Taliban and their leaders in Kandahar and other southern provinces easily escaped to Baluchistan, mainly to the city of Quetta. Taliban's Quetta Shura is globally known. Taliban leaders, including Mullah Omar, are believed to have hidden in this city. Presence of Taliban in Quetta seems to have largely assisted other smaller groups of militants having similar ideologies as that of Taliban. Terrorists signal their power and influence in the city from time to time by launching attacks on government and people. Quetta is among the first cities that protested the killing of Osama last week and burned the images of US President Obama and the US flag.
The peaceful residents of this city are having no good days as militancy is multiplying at a fast pace and government is falling short to counter it. Target killings, suicide bombings and kidnappings have ruined the peace from the lives of people. The ethnic and religious minorities are particularly targeted. On Friday May 06, 2011, in early morning shooting and rocket attack, launched on Hazara community of Quetta, at least 10 people were killed and 15 others injured.
This is not first time, since 2002 hundreds of people including leaders, politicians and high ranking government officials belonging to the same community have been the victims of terrorism. The government of Pakistan has no achievement against this violence. The United Nations and human rights organizations have also kept mum, albeit the people have raised their voice time and again.
The government of Pakistan should do more to counter the growing militancy and extremism across Pakistan and assure security of all Pakistanis including minorities.