The biggest threat that Islamabad chose to ignore while sponsoring terrorists against India has hit Pakistan. On Tuesday the Islamic State claimed responsibility of a terror attack on a police training college in Quetta which left dead 59 people, including police trainees, and over 100 injured.
The crisis, which lasted around 5 hours, ended with all the three attackers dead. The terrorists had held hostage around 200 inside the college.
The attack began late on Monday night, when masked gunmen entered the college. According to Pakistani officials, cadets were sleeping when the attack began.
In its official Amaq news agency, the Islamic State said three of its fighters “used machine guns and grenades, then blew up their explosive vests in the crowd”.
Pakistani establishment, however, pins the blame on Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and say that the terrorists were being handled from Afghanistan.
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is a Pakistan-based Sunni terror group which has been behind numerous attacks on the Shia minority community and other international incidents such as the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.
But if the Islamic State indeed had a hand behind the attack it proves two things: one, the Daesh is making a new home following their losses in Syria-Iraq, and, two, Pakistani establishment has lost control over everything.
This is the single biggest attack by the Islamic State in Pakistan, setting up a new threat for all of South Asia.
Pakistan has consistently claimed that the Islamic State will not be able to set foot in the country but it appears that they were wrong from the very start.
Pictures of Islamic State recruits training somewhere north of the Khyber Pass emerged late in 2015 indicating that the barbaric terror group had already set foot in Pakistan.
And while many in India are showing solidarity with those who lost their lives in the attack, some voices in Pakistan are, sadly, pinning the blame on India.
They are also demanding action against Kulbhushan Yadav, the ex-Indian Navy official falsely accused of being an R&AW agent.
— Aftab Afridi (@AftabAfridiPTI) October 24, 2016
India should be sent a strong message right now via Kulbhoshan Yadhav. We have seen enough of this #Quetta
— Farhan Khan Virk (@FarhanKVirk) October 24, 2016
India is a terrorist state. Ajit Doval’s devil factory is making the world terrible place. #Quetta
— Usman Dar (@UdarOfficial) October 25, 2016
— Hamdan Baluch (@HamdanBaluch) October 24, 2016
But one Twitter user from Pakistan raised a very interesting question:
Half of the #Quetta is Cantt, the other half is heavily guarded by the forces, how come the unfortunate city gets easily targeted so often?
— Habibies (@Habibies) October 24, 2016
Tarek Fatah, too, pointed out that just two days before the attack, the Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan held a closed-door meeting with leaders of Pakistan-based terror outfits and fundamentalists.
— Tarek तारिक Fatah (@TarekFatah) October 25, 2016
The fallout of the attack in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan and an important point along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), will result in any of these possibilities:
1. Pakistan might demand more aid from the US to fight terrorism. (Or it may turn to China for military assistance.)
2. Nawaz Sharif may use this opportunity to falsely accuse India and divert attention from the Uri attack committed by terrorists based in Pakistan and backed by ISI.
3. Pakistani military might step-up its atrocities against Baloch rebels.
But the Pakistani government and the military will certainly choose to ignore the real threat at their door: the Islamic State. That is convenient for its political leadership, which is facing brickbats at home from the Opposition, and the ISI, which intends to hurt India through Pa terrorists.