India’s neighboring country Pakistan is at high alert right now, given the latest updates from the area. Security measures have been increased in the major areas after the news of 2 ‘suicide’ bomb blasts in Balochistan and Hangu city came forward, Karachi police tweeted.
Balochistan’s Bomb Blast:
While the muslim community of Pakistan was busy celebrating Eid Milad-un-Nabi i.e. prophet Mohammad’s birthday on Friday, news of a bomb blast from the Balochistan province shook the country. According to local media, the bomb blast took place near the Madina mosque in Mastung district of Balochistan. Abdul Rasheed, District Health Officer, has confirmed that 52 people died in the blast while over 50 are injured. He said that the count can increase as many people are in ‘severe condition’. (Source: Reuters)
This ‘suicide’ bomb exploded in a rally near the vehicle of DSP (Deputy Superintendent of Police), as reported by Javed Lehri senior local police officer. Atta Ullah, government administrator, confirmed that the DSP named Mohammad Nawaz died in the incident. All the casualties were taken to the nearby hospital in Quetta, imposing an emergency situation in hospitals.
Multiple Blasts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:
After an hour, another series of bomb blasts happened in Hangu city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. A police officer reported that around 30-40 worshippers were present inside the mosque at the time of the blast. As per the sources, two blasts happened in Doaba police station in Hangu. Not less than 4 people died including one police officer, and 12 injuries were sustained. (Source: Dawn Newspaper)
First bomb exploded at the entrance of the police station while the second occurred inside the mosque. The roof collapsed due to the impact of the explosion and all the people present there got stuck under the rubble. All of this happened at the time of evening prayers i.e. Juma.
Similar incidents in past months:
These kinds of bomb blasts have been reported often in the last few months. Around 11 deaths were reported including a religious leader in a bomb blast that exploded at the start of this month. Similarly, news of a bomb blast at a political party gathering cam in the month of July in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in which 40 deaths were reported.
TTP or ISIS?
The group behind all these blasts has not yet been found. TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban) also known as Pakistani Talibani, have quickly denied their involvement in any of these attacks. However, a point that needs to be noted here is, all these bomb blasts followed the day after the ISIS commander was killed by the CTD (Counter Terrorism Department) in the Mastung district. Aso, Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder confirms the presence of ISIS elements in the area.
Another speculative reasons behind these blasts:
Another angle behind these explosions can be seen as the division of Muslim community into two sects. While the majority of the population celebrates Eid Milad-un-Nabi by holding public gatherings, a certain group of people are against this culture. They view it as “unwarranted innovation”.
Jan Achakzai who is Balochistan’s Interim Information Minister said, “ The enemy wants to destroy religious tolerance and peace in the area.” He also tweeted in Urdu, condemning the blast. Sarfaraz Bugti Ahmed, a politician, is found saying, “Zero tolerance policy is being followed to deal with terrorists.”
The situation is quite critical in Pakistan. Their economic crisis from 2022 following political unrest is already giving tough times to the population. People are struggling to arrange basic necessities like food, gas and oil. These bomb blasts have only worsened the conditions. If proper measures are not taken soon, it won’t take long for Pakistan to dissolve.