Gunmen mowed down a group of would-be migrants in Turbat district near the Iranian border on Friday, killing at least 18 people and injuring another two in what appears to be an ethnically-motivated attack. This reminds me of when they tried to kill me in Lahore, several years ago. As I saw my would be assassin flee with his green turban making a beeline, my very good friend lay on the ground bleeding to death. He was not the target, he was not Shia.
A week ago we saw a similar story: A blast in the Hazarganji area of Quetta targeted a bus carrying Shia pilgrims from Taftan to the provincial capital on Thursday, Express News reported. 14 people were killed and 30 were injured as a result of the blast. Last week they got the right target, a bus load of Shia pilgrims. This week they were off target. They mistakenly killed poor Pakistanis fleeing the hardship, the lack of opportunity, the talibanisation, the militarization and the ensuing instability in Pakistan. The victims this time were those that former prime minister Gilani, when asked about the latest Gallup poll which suggests that one-fifth of Pakistanis want to leave the country, the premier didn’t hesitate to respond: “Why don’t they just leave then”. Although clearly a faux pas, Gilani should have had the guts to apologize to his countrymen, especially to those hard working expats that keep Pakistan alive.
Pakistan’s largest export is foreign remittances from hard working expats abroad. Many such future expats find their way out of Pakistan via Iran pretending to be pilgrims. This bus, that lost so many Pakistani lives, probably included several young men on “ziyarat” visas fleeing to Europe via Iran and Turkey. Their mission was clear, to work very hard and send money home. Making this Pilgrim route unsafe can be very costly. Pakistani economic immigrants are hard working, honest and peace loving. While they do admit to breaking the law to enter foreign countries for work. They do so out of desperation. Well now they are being killed before they can have a chance to even toil for their country and their family.
“Express reports that the terrorists checked ID cards of the victims before shooting them. This seems to be a copycat of the attacks on Shia Muslims. Why would they check the ID cards of random Sunni Muslims from different provinces. Is this just an attempt to undermine the similar attacks on Shia Muslims? Is this yet another plot hatched to prove that the discriminate killings have nothing to do with the Shia Muslims of Pakistan. Why on earth would anyone care about the identity of a random Sunni Muslim before killing him? That is the question. This attack was not as simple and random as it is being portrayed in the media. They say that the Balouch Liberation Tigers have admitted they were behind the kilings and that the victims were ”settlers”. But something doesn’t seem right here.”