- Written by Aveek Sen. The author is an independent researcher and journalist working on cyber security and geopolitics of India’s neighborhood, focusing on Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Bangladesh. He tweets at @aveeksen
As many as 25 people have been killed and scores injured in a blast which took place shortly after Friday namaz at a local mosque in Balochistan’s Mastung region. Pakistan Senate deputy chairman Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri has also been injured in the deadly blast. The majority of those injured and killed were party workers of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Dawn reported quoting rescue officials. [Source: India Today report ]
That region has camps of Islamists terrorist targeting all and sundry- Taliban targeting Afghanistan and Jundullah targeting Iran. In addition Pakistani Taliban TTP, LEJ also have camps there. Baloch insurgents groups also have camps in the area. In and around Mastung, all of them can be found at short distances from each other.
IS has claimed responsibility for the attack through Amaq. IS is Formed of splinter groups of LeJ and TTP. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, TTP and Daesh/IS/ISKP operate in close coordination in the area. Mastung is a stronghold of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi routinely attacks Shia pilgrims going to Iran from Quetta. They are made to disembark from buses and shot dead. Its leader Malik Ishaq was killed in an encounter by Counter-Terrorism Department of Punjab Police in 2015. JUI-F’s senior leader Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani claims an attack on him life was by Taliban.
JUI-F is one of the harcore right parties of Pakistan. It has been targeted by TTP in the past as well despite the party leaders having acted as negotiators between the TTP and Pakistan government. However as Pakistan goes to polls in 2018, JUI-F stands to gain politically from the attack. The attack demonstrates that breeding snakes is counterproductive and Pakistan’s policy of good and bad terrorists is coming back to bite it yet again.
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