Quetta attack spells new danger to Pakistan from IS

  • Over 60 killed, 100 injured in Police Academy terror

The terrorist attack on the Police Academy in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, on Monday night, has shown once again how Pakistan is playing a diabolical game in dealing with militancy and Jihadist threats.

When it comes to terrorist strikes on India by home grown radical elements, Islamabad feigns ignorance and washes off its hands. But similar and deadlier strikes occur on its soil, Pak leaders aver their country is also a victim of terrorism.

If the Kashmir issue is the root cause of militant attacks on Indian civil and military establishments, as Pak leaders stress, what’s the motive behind the massacre of more than 60 people, most of them trainee cadets, at the Police Training College? There is no answer from the Pak Army and the Nawaz Sharif government.

To put it simply, the terrorism baby that was cradled in Pakistan has turned into a monster to devour those who nursed it.

According to the Pakistani media, at least 61 security personnel were killed and 117 injured when terrorists stormed the academy late Monday night. They entered the hostel rooms and shot the unarmed inmates at point blank.

Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti said an estimated 700 cadets were present inside the police training centre at the time of attack. He said two suicide bombers blew themselves up inside the training centre. One of the terrorists who was also wearing a suicide jacket was killed before he could detonate himself.

According to Pak press reports, attackers acted on directions from Afghanistan and the initial investigation suggests that the terrorists were affiliated to Al-Alami faction of banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).

The suggestion corroborates the Islamic State’s claim that it was responsible for the attack. Describing the  assault as a “three-man suicide raid, ” it said IS fighters “used machine guns and grenades, then blew up their explosive vests in the crowd”. It also posted a photo of the three fighters on the social media who were said to have carried out the attack.

The LeJ had at one time close links with Pak military but it seems that it has turned against it by joining hands with the Islamic State which has been trying to get a foothold in Pakistan. If the Quetta attack claim is true, then the IS is spreading its tentacles into Pakistan from Afghanistan where it has a nominal presence. If the IS hand in Quetta attack is conclusively proved, it could well be the beginning of a new chapter in bloody Pakistan history.

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