Note: The following article is cross-posted from the Baloch Hal with some changes and additional information to clarify ASWJ-LeJ terrorists’ background and motives.
In one of the ugliest terrorist attacks in Balochistan’s history, Sunni (Deobandi) militant group, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (also operating as Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat ASWJ aka Sipah-e-Sahaba), killed at least 24 people, mostly female university students (and female nurses) in coordinated attacks in the provincial capital Quetta on Saturday (15 June 2013).
In the first assault (by Takfiri Deobandi militants), a bus carrying the students of the women-only Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University was blown up which was subsequently followed by a second explosion at the Bolan Medical College (B.M.C.) where doctors and paramedics were busy in rescue and relief operation. The attackers even did not spare the hospital management as they besieged the B.M.C., opened indiscriminate fire for several hours, killing at least four nurses and the Deputy Commissioner of Quetta District.
At the time of writing this editorial, it is still too early to fully measure the magnitude of human and material loss caused by Saturday’s attack. The unprecedented attack on female students immediately became a global headline while the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called upon Islamabad to do all possible to bring the perpetrators to justice. Mr. Ki-moon has rightly feared that such attacks could further disrupt and discourage women’s education in Pakistan’s least educated province of Balochistan.
(In a similar incident almost exactly one year ago on 18 June 2012, five Shia Muslim students were killed in an attack on a university bus in Quetta by the LeJ-ASWJ Deobandi terrorists. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012%5C06%5C19%5Cstory_19-6-2012_pg7_1)
(The ASWJ-LeJ terrorist group has killed thousands of Shias, Sunni Barelvis, Ahmadis and Christians in the past few decades in Pakistan. The group’s political wing ASWJ remains in an unannounced political partnership with the ruling PML-N political party of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.)
Picture: Evidence of PMLN-LeJ-ASWJ alliance in Quetta
The LeJ, which is a (Deobandi) terrorist organization based in Pakistan’s South Punjab, claims it carried out the assault in order to avenge the killing of six of its members by the security forces on June 9 in Quetta. The government should have taken all precautionary measures as Abu Bakar Siddiq, a spokesman for the underground LeJ, implicitly threatened that his organization would “teach the government [officials] such a lesson that their coming generations would not forget.” The LeJ spokesman had also said, “our [newspaper] statements should not taken as mere warnings. We practically do whatever we threaten to do.”
The Balochistan High Court is strictly against the publication of any news material from the LeJ (usually naked threats to Shia Muslims and security forces) because the court believes the publication of LeJ statements amounts to glorifying violence, providing the terrorists a platform to propagate their mission and also scare the public. Hence, the Balochistan government has registered cases under the Terrorism Act against a number of Quetta-based Urdu newspapers that published the LeJ statements on the recommendation of the B.H.C. So, such official restrictions and pressure on the media have in fact kept the government and the masses in alarming oblivion about the policies and intentions of terrorist groups.
What the government should have read from LeJ’s last policy statement was the description of several “women who were ready to sacrifice their lives in order to revive the memories of Hazrat Samia, the first female martyr of Islam.” It means the LeJ has already started recruiting women to carry out attacks on girls who attend school and work at different offices. (On several occasions in the past, LeJ-ASWJ terrorists have used brainwashed women to promote its Jihado-sectarian terrorist agenda.) Based on the LeJ’s own claims and warnings, it is not absolutely irrelevant to presume that some indoctrinated (Deobandi Wahhabi) female students within the university could have collaborated in fixing the bomb in the bus.
What is (somewhat) satisfactory from the government’s side is the candid admission by Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan that no “foreign hand” was involved in the attack. He said those who carried out this barbaric act of terror seemed to be homegrown terrorists and the government was investigating the matter. Unlike his controversial predecessor, Rehman Malik, the new interior minister is at least not shying away from acknowledging that fact that sectarian violence is a domestic product of the Pakistani state’s flawed policies and no other foreign country can be blamed for this.
(However, the Nawaz Sharif’s hand-picked Inspector General Police of Balochistan, Mushtaq Sukhera resorted to usual obfuscation by claiming (in Nasim Zehra’s show on Capital TV) that LeJ terrorists were not involved in the attacks on women’s university bus and BMC. This shows that the State and the PMLN-led government is unwilling to take decisive action against its own Jihado-sectarian Deobandi militant proxies.)
The provincial police chief, Mr. Sukhera, denied that the attack was sectarian. However, that seemed to be contradicted by the claim of responsibility (by the LeJ group communicated to BBC Urdu and other sections of media), evidence from eyewitnesses and the views of other officials.
Those at the hospital at the time of the assault (including a senior doctor) told local media that the attackers had said that the Sunnis could leave but the Shiites had to remain.
Hasil Bizenjo, a senator and a senior member of the National Party, which is part of the new ruling provincial coalition government in Baluchistan, said the bus hit in the attack had changed its route and had previously taken students to the Shia Hazara enclave in the city.
“Lashkar-e-Jhangvi doesn’t claim responsibility for any attack here unless it is an attack on Shiites,” said Mr. Bizenjo. The other attacks are usually claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, he said. (The TTP or Pakistan Taliban and LeJ are code names or aliases of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaaat Deobandi ASWJ group which freely operates in all parts of Pakistan in full public sight.)
Mr. Bizenjo said that such attacks would continue unless there was better intelligence, and for that, work by the military’s spy agencies, Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence, was needed. “But there still seems to be some confusion, some hurdles” in those intelligence agencies targeting the religious extremists, he said.
Pakistan’s military and its intelligence agencies have long been criticized for their relationship with some jihadist groups, including sectarian groups. The military rejects the charges. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323734304578547283505820840.html
Deobandi terrorist shouting during attack on hospital in Quetta:
“Jo Sunni hain nikal jaen, kisi Shia ko ham janay nahi dain gay”
کوئٹہ پہلا دھماکہ سردار بہادر خان ویمن یونیورسٹی کی ایک بس میں ہوا اور اس دھماکے کی زخمی طالبات کو بولان میڈیکل کمپلیکس لے جایا گیا جہاں شعبہ حادثات میں دوسرا دھماکہ ہوا جس کے بعد فائرنگ کا سلسلہ شروع ہو گیا جو کئی گھنٹے تک جاری رہا۔ دھماکے اور فائرنگ کے نتیجے میں اب تک طالبات سمیت 20 افراد جاں بحق ہو چکے ہیں جبکہ متعدد زخمی ہوئے ہیں۔
میر حاصل بزنجو کا کہنا تھا کہ کوئٹہ آج کی کاروائ ومین یونیورسٹی کی جس بس پہ حملہ کیا گیا ہے وہ اس سے پہلے علمدار روڈ سے شیعہ کمیونٹی کی طالبات کو لاتی لے جاتی تهی صرف 2 دن پہلے اس بس کا روٹ تبدیل کیا گیا
Mir Hasil Bizenjo’s comments
Faisal Raza Abdi’s comments:
The outlawed Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for Saturday’s massacre in Quetta.
The group was founded in 1996 by Riaz Basra after he broke away from Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan over differences with his superiors.
On February 16, 2013, a bomb attack targeting Shia Muslims in the main bazaar of Quetta killed about 90 people, including women and children, and injured 200 others. According to the police, most of the victims were Hazara Shias. On January 10,, 2013 a twin bomb attack at a crowded billiard hall killed more than 90 people, mostly Shia Muslims, in Quetta. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the two bombings.
On March 1, former Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that Deobandi militants of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi aka ASWJ weren involved in 80 percent of terrorist incidents in the country, against all communities including Sunni, Shia, Ahmadi, Christian etc. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/06/15/309219/29-die-in-day-of-carnage-in-quetta/
So, a critical question for investigators of Saturday’s attacks is to find out how much support the LeJ enjoys among the women folk and how serious the claim is that many women are ‘ready to sacrifice themselves’ for the glory of Islam. If LeJ actually has female recruits then we should, unfortunately, expect more Saturday-like tragedies at least expected places, including commercial centers where women go shopping.
(More importantly the media and analysts must focus on the amount of support available to LeJ-ASWJ by Pakistan army and PML-N government. It can’t be ignored that arrested LeJ terrorists have been allowed to escape from high security prisons in Quetta, Gilgit, D.G.Khan and Karachi in the last few years.)
Repeated recovery of dead bodies of Baloch political activists, the destruction of the Quaid-e-Azam Residency in Ziarat and Saturday’s coordinated attacks have absolutely shaken the confidence of Balochistan’s new coalition government. There are already signs of discontent among the coalition partners over the dramatic surge in violence. They have started blaming each other for not being able to properly manage the situation in the province. For instance, federal minister for information Pervaiz Rasheed of the Pakistan Muslim League (P.M.L-Nawaz) reminded that his party had given “nationalists a chance to lessen the anger of the youth. But even after this they continue this politics of gun.” It is absurd to believe that Chief Minister Dr. Malik Baloch has got magical powers to end sectarian and nationalistic violence overnight.
While the C.M. endeavors to reach out to the Baloch insurgents, the people of Balochistan from all ethnic and sectarian communities have a clear message for Islamabad and the Punjab: We have paid a very heavy price for Islamabad’s romance with Islamic terrorist organizations (eg Taliban, Sipah Sahaba ASWJ-LeJ, JuD-LeT etc). One terrorist group (read LeJ-ASWJ) based in the Punjab province (but now also firmly routed in Baloch Bravi people of Balochistan) routinely attacks our places of worship, students, universities and even hospitals in the name of Islam and then enjoys absolute impunity. The people of Balochistan are jaded with and outraged at Pakistan’s disastrous love affair with radical Islamist (Deobandi-Wahhabi) groups.
The attack on our female students is the most shocking assault we have ever witnessed. What worse can happen in Balochistan in the name of religion? Nearly 14 young innocent girls were instantly killed in the explosion and the perpetrators brazenly yet confidently accepted responsibility for the attack because they were certain about the Pakistani state’s inability of unwillingness to punish them or dismantle their networks located in the Punjab province.
Balochistan bleeds almost every single day because of Pakistan (army)’s fanatical romance with Islamic (Deobandi Wahhabi) terrorist groups such as the LeJ (ASWJ, Sipah Sahaba). No matter what ‘national interests” of Pakistan are attached to the promotion of radical Islam, Balochistan should categorically refuse to be used as a ground for such a self-defeating scheme in the name of religion. Today, the Balochs have stood up against Islamabad, tomorrow it could be the Hazaras and the Pashtuns as well because the State’s continued ties with radical groups have disfigured our secular lifestyle. The religious madness is increasing day by day whereas the people of Balochistan are rapidly running out of patience with Pakistan’s blackmail in the name of religion.
Our citizens, no matter what religion, sect and ethnic group they come from, deserve the protection, not the terror, of the central government. And the government should do whatever it takes to ensure that it remains committed to every citizens’ fundamental rights, including the most important right to life.
Video: Attack on Bolan Medical Complex
A female suicide bomber, Ayesha Siddiqa Deobandi, blew herself up in the bus, claims Abu-bakar Siddiq Deobandi, spokesman LeJ.
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