Civilian Institutions Need to be Strengthened for Intel Gathering & Prosecution

Lahore, February 17: Strongly condemning the Sehwan Sharif suicide bombing and a series of terrorist attacks in the country over the last few days, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has demanded decisive crackdown on all manifestations of violence, especially in the name of faith.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Commission said: “HRCP is saddened and greatly alarmed by a renewed wave of deadly attacks, the latest of which on Thursday evening took a heavy toll on human life at the Lal Shahbaz Qalander shrine at Sehwan Sharif.

“Unfortunately, we have been at similar junctures in our recent history. Perhaps things would have been different if the pledges made to crack down on all forms of hate speech and violence, on the basis of faith on those previous occasions, had been honoured.

“Irrespective of where the attackers blowing themselves up or pulling the trigger come from, assaults in rapid succession cannot take place without local support and facilitation networks. The people are justified in asking all those tasked with their safety and security what steps had been taken to preempt such violence and why they have not succeeded.

“As we mourn these latest victims of ideologies of hate, we are once again asking our children to undergo security trainings in their schools. No longer must the policy makers remain indifferent to non-implementation or selective pursuit of various aspects of the National Action Plan (NAP) on counter-terrorism. HRCP urges the state to use all the resources at its disposal for across-the-board and decisive action against the perpetrators of these inhuman crimes. It is important that no exception is made while proceeding against those promoting violence or discrimination in the name of faith. While we do not have the expertise to advise on security matters, it is obvious that relying solely on the military and paramilitary forces will not yield results without enhancing the policing and intelligence gathering capabilities of civilian forces.

“If these attacks are concluded to have a cross-border dimension, all efforts must be made to collaborate with neighbouring countries to pursue the mischief makers in order to deny sanctuary to them.”

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