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Pak govt operation against Quetta blast suspects `just for show`?

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 14:12

Washington: The security operation announced by the Pakistani government against those responsible for the bombing that killed at least 89 people in Quetta, is just for show, experts have said.

The bomb attack on Saturday targeted Pakistan`s Shiite Muslim minority, bringing Hazaras and thousands of other Shiites across Pakistan out to protest the continued targeting of Shiites by Sunni militant groups.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), a Sunni militant group with ties to Al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Although reports suggested that a number of LeJ militants have been caught since the government made the announcement, security experts said the targeted operation is just for show, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

According to the report, experts pointed out that the group`s presence is not limited to Quetta and that the government response raises questions about military and political support for the group.

The report quoted Najam Sethi, a columnist and political talk show host, as saying that the move `is an ad hoc decision and will not bring any results,` adding that government has no strategy or capability to take on Lashkar-e-Jhangvi .

Ayesha Siddiqa, a military expert who has authored two books on Pakistan`s Army, pointed out that if the government really wanted to target the militant group, it would not be cracking down in Quetta.

She said that the `crackdown should be in Punjab, where they are headquartered, but no one talks about that.`

According to the paper, the military dictator Zia-ul-Haq, who ruled Pakistan between 1978 and 1988, essentially created the political groups such as LeJ`s parent organization in an effort to counter the perceived growing Shiite influence in the country with the aid of neighboring Iran.

Analysts believe that the military not only uses such groups for its benefit, but tolerates the brutal behavior of such Sunni militant groups toward Shiites because of lingering paranoia, the paper added.


First Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 14:11

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