Slaughter in Quetta


Bystanders react at the site after a bomb explosion at Civil Hospital premises in Quetta on August 8, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Bystanders react at the site after a bomb explosion at Civil Hospital premises in Quetta on August 8, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

There should be no surprise anywhere either inside or outside of government both provincial and federal at the carnage in Quetta’s Civil Hospital on August 8. With at least 63 dead and 50 or more injured (both figures are unlikely to be definitive), this is in reality just another bombing. Just another item in the litany of murder of innocent people whose only crime seemingly was being in the wrong place at the wrong time. No surprise because governments provincial and federal despite their trumpeting as to how many casualties they have suffered fighting terrorism — have been highly selective in the terrorists they choose to fight. It was not so long ago that a senior federal government figure was justifying the narrow bandwidth in regarding the fight against terror because of fears about ‘blowback’ if pressure on terrorist groups was increased.

There are reports of casualties across the spectrum, including at least one cameraman from DawnNews and an Aaj journalist, plus doctors and nurses present in the casualty receiving area when the bomb was detonated. It was a well-planned and coordinated attack, the hospital being hit as it received the body of the man who had been used as the bait — the leader of the Balochistan Bar Association. The terrorists had every intention of creating a mass-casualty event and they succeeded on a grand scale, shortly to be forgotten as the news agenda rolls on.

The killings were swiftly followed by the fatuous condolences of anybody who could get in front of a microphone. The prime minister is due to visit, with the chief of army staff also visiting the hospital. The prime minister spoke of the loss of “precious lives”. The manner in which the powers that be handle the aftermath of such tragedies makes clear that the lost lives were not precious at all, they were expendable, mere cannon fodder, and the prime minister nor anybody else is about to add to their value by directly and conclusively tackling those that killed them. The Quetta bombing will be history by the weekend, ancient at that.


Original news : http://tribune.com.pk/story/1158260/slaughter-in-quetta/