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Editorial: Shrine terrorist attack

A suicide bomber blew himself up Thursday at a shrine in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh. The attack that was claimed by the Islamic State (IS), aka Daesh terrorist group, left more than 70 people killed and 250 injured, according to official sources.

This big tragedy shows that the region is under a serious threat from different terrorist groups, who usually take the lives of children, women and other innocent civilians. The people of Afghanistan who are victimized by terrorism for several years feel the pain of their Pakistani brothers and sisters more than any others in the region.

Fight against terrorists needs a strong intention and honestly cooperation among the regional countries. Afghanistan undoubtedly has frequently proved its commitment and honesty in combating terrorism and asks the governments of other countries to make similar decision.

But the government of Pakistan claims that the attack was organized in the Afghan soil. This is not the first time that Pakistani statesmen make such allegations. In the 2014 attack on an army public school that killed 141 people including 132 school children in Peshawar city, the then Pakistani army Chief General, Raheel Sharif immediately came to Kabul and in a meeting with President Ghani, claimed that the attack was planned in Afghanistan.

How does a country hardly affected by terrorism allow terrorist groups to use its soil against another country? We have been shouting that we are battling terrorists, calling for our neighbors’ cooperation.

This time also, General Asif Ghafoor, the spokesman for Pakistani army claims that the attack was planned in Afghanistan.

The Daesh terrorist group that has hideouts in the eastern province of Nangarhar, is a big threat to the Afghan people. Nangarhar is bordering Pakistan’s tribal areas from where terrorists with different titles enter Afghanistan and carry out attacks.

This is clear that Taliban and other terrorists use Pakistan soil as a safe haven and Islamabad so far has not been serious in repelling them. Taliban leaders are safely living in Quetta and other cities and are treated in Pakistani hospitals.

Such allegations have no bases and could be another tactic of Pakistan’s leaders to divert the international community’s attention as the US forces’ commander in Afghanistan recently asked Washington to review relationship with Pakistan. Islamabad tries to pretend that terrorists are active in Afghanistan, not in Pakistan.

Pakistani leaders should realize that terrorism does not respect anyone and anything. They target even holy sites such as mosques and shrines. Attacks on the Shiite Muslims’ gathering in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif in last year’s Ashura are bright examples. Now, they targeted the Shah Baz Qalandar Sufi shrine. They just want to kill people and create terror.

Pakistan should be honest and serious in combating terrorism if it wants its people to live with no fear. It will get no result from making such baseless accusations. This is not prudently to close the cross borders. The Torkham and Spin Boldak cross borders should be reopened as soon as possible because its closure will harm the economy of the two countries.

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