By S. M. Hali
June 15, 2013 will go down as one of the blackest days in Pakistan’s history. In the wee hours of the morning, miscreants targeted the Ziarat Residency, where the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, spent his last days. Jinnah, was one of the most respected, secular and non controversial leaders of the Indo-Pak Subcontinent. He was held in such great reverence that Lincoln’s Inn, one of four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar, has exceptionally honoured Jinnah by placing his portrait along with two Englishmen legal wizards: a knight of the garter, Sir Henry Maule and deferential appellate and member of peerage, Lord Arthur Hobhouse; on the stone wall over the entrance to its Great Hall and Library in London.
It is worth mentioning that distinguished members of Lincoln’s Inn include Sir Thomas More, Richard Cromwell, Allama Iqbal, Margaret Thatcher and numerous Presidents, Prime Ministers and Chief Justices across the globe but it is only Jinnah, a non-English jurist, who has been paid such a tribute for his unparalleled contribution of founding Pakistan.
The perpetrators of the heinous crime deliberately targeted the Ziarat Residency by repudiating in an odious manner the idea of Pakistan. The act of the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), claiming responsibility for the abhorrent assault, pulling down Pakistan’s national ensign and planting the BLA flag, has grievously hurt the sentiments of 188 million Pakistanis. The wound is deeper than the loss of over thirty-nine thousand lives sacrificed by Pakistan in its fight against terror.
The desecration of the Ziarat Residency has shocked the entire nation but it has rejuvenated the resolve of Pakistanis and patriotic Balochis’ to denounce and defeat the secessionist elements and reject their heinous agenda.
While the nation was still reeling under the trauma of the demolition of the historical icon of the Quaid’s house of recuperation, Quetta was targeted by two massive terror attacks. The first was an unprecedented assault on female students. According to intelligence officials, a female suicide bomber carried out an attack on a bus carrying students of Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University, in which fourteen students embraced shahadat. While the casualties of the women’s university were being transferred to Bolan Medical College hospital for treatment, a group of miscreants launched an attack on the hospital, taking the medical staff and injured students hostage. After hours of gun-battle, the assailants were overpowered and killed but not before the death toll of the bleak Saturday rose to 25, including the Deputy Commissioner of Quetta, four personnel of the Frontier Corps (FC), fourteen students and four nurses. Banned outfit Lashkar-i-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the bomb blasts. Readers may recall that this is the same iniquitous outfit, which has claimed responsibility for the cold blooded massacre of the Hazaras in Quetta, earlier this year.
The saddest aspect of all three assaults is that some analysts are concluding that the atrocious attacks took place owing to a rivalry between the Balochistan Police and the FC. To rub salt in the wound, another pseudo intellectual and TV anchor, gave a new twist to the depressing incident by presenting the farfetched theory that the ISI and law enforcing agencies are to be blamed by declaring that the attacks were a reaction to the alleged missing persons and mutilated bodies case. This is not only shocking that our so called analysts jump to conclusions even before the incident is over and an inquiry is carried out but is contrary to journalistic ethics and is tantamount to inadvertently playing into the hands of the enemy that desires dissension in our ranks and a blame game to be effective. The enemies of state plan surreptitious attacks and apportion culpability on national institutions. Let us remain united and not strengthen the heinous agenda of the adversary.
The new nationalist government in Balochistan is under a severe test for restoring law and order in Balochistan, while the current political dispensation at Islamabad needs to pick up the gauntlet of trials and tribulation and take immediate steps to stem the rot. To date, the worst enemies of the state have not dared to target the monuments associated with Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the symbol of Pakistan’s sovereignty. The miscreants must be made to realize that their dastardly attack may demolish the Ziarat Residency but it can never repudiate the idea of Pakistan from the hearts and minds of the patriotic citizens of Pakistan.