Editorial: 40 Days After the Quetta Carnage

Today is 40th day after the deadly Quetta Carnage which was dubbed as the 9/11 of Balochistan. In a suicide blast in Sandeman Provincial Hospital (SPH) more than 75 people were killed and 60 of them were lawyers. Today “Chelum”, remembering of the dead after 40 days, is being observed in homes of the slain lawyers. Even after passing of 40 days, government of Balochistan has failed to take the required action on several fronts.
Firstly, the suicide blast in SPH was a huge security breach. The modus operandi used in the blast was not new and therefore government shares huge portion of the blame because they failed to protect the bomb blast from taking place. In civilized democratic states, there is a concept of accountability and after such deadly bomb blasts government of Balochistan should have held some people responsible and taken action against them but nothing happened. Neither any action has been taken against officers of law enforcement agencies nor against the doctors of SPH who failed to show up after the blast.

Even after passing of 40 days, government of Balochistan has failed to take the required action on several fronts

Secondly, the bomb blast in SPH exposed the deterioration in the healthcare system of Balochistan. Suicide blast took place outside the emergency ward of SPH but reportedly some lawyers did not receive first aid for two hours while lying there. 470 doctors are posted in SPH and apart from the courageous Dr. Shehla Sami Kakar none of them showed up. As a result victims were transported to CMH and the delay in treatment allegedly resulted in deaths of many lawyers. Even after the 40 days, Government has not taken any action against the doctors of SPH. It could not even transfer the Medical Superintendent (MS) of SPH due to political pressure from one of government allies.
Moreover, the blast also triggered the debate on the non-functional Trauma center in SPH. Only trauma center in the province is almost complete but it’s yet to be made functional due to several reasons. After the blast pressure developed on government and it announced that Trauma center would be made functional in September. However, 40 days have passed and there is no progress. More importantly no serious efforts have been made to start Trauma center on permanent and sustainable basis.
In this context, government of Balochistan needs to do a lot. It should conduct an impartial inquiry on the matter to ascertain who is responsible for the security breach which resulted in the massive loss after the attack. Government of Balochistan can also accept the offer of Chairman of National Commission of Human Rights who offered to carry out the investigation into the matter. Similarly, action needs to taken against the doctors of SPH who failed to show up when they were required most.
Lastly, Government needs to take the issue of Trauma center seriously and should make it functional on war footings. Plight of emergency healthcare services in Balochistan demand that a state of the art Trauma center should be functional, as soon as possible. Government has to realize its responsibilities and take the required action to minimize the human loss in case of mishaps like Quetta carnage in future.
Balochistan Voices
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