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Balochistan in flames - again

Updated Jun 17, 2013 05:42pm

A boy who was injured in a bomb blast is carried by his relatives as they move to another hospital in Quetta June 15, 2013. — Reuters Photo.
A boy who was injured in a bomb blast is carried by his relatives as they move to another hospital in Quetta June 15, 2013. — Reuters Photo.
It’s only a few days since the Balochistan Chief Minister Dr. Malik Baloch took oath and entered office. But within that short span of time, the troubled province has already witnessed the same kind of chaos and violence very reminiscent of the previous government’s tenure.

First, militants from the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a separatist organisation, blew up the house in which the Quaid-i-Azam spent his last days, in Ziarat. A policeman also died in the attack.

Soon after, Laskhar-i-Jhangvi (LJ), a violent sectarian terrorist organisation, orchestrated a suicide bomb attack on a bus will with female university students. It then went on to attack the hospital in which the injured were being treated, and took over the medical complex, which resulted in a prolonged gun battle between the terrorists and the security forces.

So far, both the provincial and federal governments have made attempts at damage control after a day that witnessed multiple, dramatic violent incidents: The condemnations were swift, as were the vows to restore Ziarat House and catch the culprits.

But damage control is very different from addressing the root causes of such violence, and preventing their occurrence in the first place.

What do you think Dr. Baloch and Nawaz need to do first and foremost to ensure that the violence in Balochistan, which has escalated exponentially, comes to a halt? Should they negotiate with separatists? Is there a need for a much more serious, forceful crackdown on the LJ? Is it the police force that needs to be reformed? Should the security policy on Balochistan, mainly formulated by the military, be overhauled and rethought?

Dawn.com invites its readers to express their views.