World View: Pakistan Reels After Police Cadets Killed in Terror Attack

Pakistani mourners gather around the coffins of some of those killed in an attack on the Police Training College Balochistan in Quetta on October 25, 2016. Pakistan on October 25 mourned the killing of at least 61 people in a brutal gun and suicide bomb assault on a police academy, …

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Pakistan reels after 60 young police cadets killed in terror attack in Balochistan
  • Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) may be getting revenge for police attack on leader

Pakistan reels after 60 young police cadets killed in terror attack in Balochistan

Quetta attack
Quetta attack

At least 61 people, mostly fresh police recruits, were killed and 117 injured on Monday night in a terror attack on a Police Training cottage in Quetta, the capital of the province of Balochistan in Pakistan. The attack began with gunfire at 11 pm and continued for several hours, but most of the deaths were caused when one of the terrorists exploded his suicide vest. The attackers are thought to be Afghan Uzbeks. One of them was a 12-year-old boy.

The attack is being blamed on the Al Alami offshoot of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), a terror group that has vowed to exterminate all Shias in Pakistan, and has carried out numerous terrorist actions targeting Shias. However, no Pakistan terror group has claimed credit. However, LeJ is also thought to have links to the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh), and so ISIS has been putting out press releases claiming credit for the attack. ISIS seems anxious to take credit for every terror attack, whether they have anything to do with it or not.

Another possibility, though less likely, is that the terror attack is related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which over ten years will build a network of roads, railways and energy pipelines aiming to connect western Chinese cities to the sea port in Gwadar on the Indian Ocean. On Saturday, two Pakistan Coast Guard officers were gunned down in a region close to the Gwadar sea port, and there’s a possibility, considered less likely, that Monday’s terror attack was connected to the CPEC project.

Whoever the perpetrator, and whatever the motives, the attack is sending shock waves among the people of Pakistan, who are blaming the police and the government for the continuing stream of terror attacks. In past decades, Pakistan’s government has supported Taliban terror groups who were attacking targets in India and Afghanistan, and now those terror groups are attacking targets in Pakistan itself. This new terror attack is certain to renew the “good terrorists versus bad terrorists” debate in Pakistan. Reuters and AFP and Reuters and Dunya News (Pakistan)

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Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) may be getting revenge for police attack on leader

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) is thought to be the perpetrator of Monday’s attack on the police academy. Although the ethnicity of the victims has not been reported, the fact that it took place in Balochistan suggests that most of the cadets were Shias.

Lashkar-e-Janghvi has repeatedly stated that its goal is the extermination of all Shia Muslims in Pakistan, and has been methodically setting off bombs in order to achieve that goal. An LeJ statement issued in 2011 says:

“Our mission [in Pakistan] is the abolition of this impure sect and people, the Shias and the Shia Hazaras, from every city, every village, every nook and corner of Pakistan. Like in the past, [our] successful Jihad against the Hazaras in Pakistan and, in particular, in Quetta is ongoing and will continue. We will make Pakistan their graveyard– their houses will be destroyed by bombs and suicide bombers. … Jihad against the Shia Hazaras has now become our duty. … We will rest only after hoisting the flag of true Islam on the land of the pure — Pakistan.”

However, there is an additional possible motivation for LeJ. LeJ’s leader Malik Ishaq was killed while in a police convoy in July of last year. The police said that the convoy was attacked by 12-15 gunmen, and that Ishaq and his two sons were killed in the subsequent shootout, but LeJ has claimed that the gunfight was staged.

So it is possible that LeJ attacked the policy academy to get revenge for the killing of its Malik Ishaq. Dawn (Pakistan) and Al Jazeera

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Pakistan, Quetta, Balochistan, Al Alami, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, LeJ, Malik Ishaq, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, CPEC, Gwadar sea port
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