Blasts in Sindh
WHILE there has been criticism of the new Sindh People’s Local Government law, matters took an ugly turn on Tuesday. The residences of six PPP leaders in different Sindh towns were attacked with low-intensity explosive devices. The attacks came days after a PPP public meeting in Khairpur was targeted by gunmen, killing a number of party workers. Pamphlets belonging to the Sindhudesh Liberation Army were recovered from several of the targeted locations in Tuesday’s attacks. This is the same outfit that in the past has been held responsible for orchestrating small blasts targeting railway lines and bank branches in Sindh. There are indications that militant elements sympathetic to the nationalist cause in Sindh may be using the SLA tag. The PPP’s erstwhile allies in the Sindh Assembly have condemned the attacks, but this has been qualified with criticism of the new LG law. Condemnation from nationalist parties has been even more lukewarm, with some leaders supporting conspiracy
theories that the government orchestrated the blasts itself.
Denunciation of the violence must be unambiguous, as terrorism is not a legitimate method of protest. If all parties fail to condemn the attacks it will establish a dangerous precedent — that it is okay to use violence if one disagrees with a law or government policy. Parliament is the best forum to raise objections to a law, while for those parties outside the legislature there exist peaceful, democratic methods of protest. The recent attacks need to be properly investigated to uncover the perpetrators. Also, the PPP needs to engage those parties that are peacefully opposing the new LG law and lend a sympathetic ear to their concerns. While such dastardly attacks should not lead to compromises, the PPP can lower the temperature by consulting opponents of the law and making amendments where legitimate loopholes exist.