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Pakistan Today

Published Date: Oct 22, 2011


The Insani Haqooq Ittehad, an alliance of civil society organisations, condemned Friday the state’s unwillingness to take action against rising incidents of violence and extremism in the country.
With a specific reference to the incidents of Friday, October 7, when local madressah boys had attacked a nearby girls’ school in Rawalpindi and the riots mid protests against Mumtaz Qadri’s death sentence.
The IHI deplored the fact that the city was forcibly shut down by the protesters and called for an effective and timely action to tackle the threat posed by “violent mobs” which were “misuse religion to spread hatred and fear among people”. The IHI’s joint statement narrated as to how local seminary boys had attacked a girls’ school in the Satellite Town.
“Approximately 60 masked men carrying iron rods barged into a girls’ school and manhandled and threatened female students and teachers and told them to wear some modest dresses,” the statement said. The statement quoted some unnamed sources in the city administration and police as saying that they had been ordered to not to take action against the law violators. It is important to note that due to above mentioned incident the attendance in the said school and in other schools in the adjoining areas remained thin since the city administration is playing the role of a silent spectator.
The IHI statement claimed that in the pro-Mumtaz Qadri rally of the last Friday, many shopkeepers had to shut down their shops fearing losses. There have been reports that a number of Friday sermons that day condemned the judge who had sentenced Mumtaz Qadri, the assassin of late Punjab governor Salman Taseer, to death. The IHI asserted that the violent groups were guilty of intimidating the public and society at large and pressuring the judiciary.
“Though these groups represent a minority opinion in the country they are successfully terrorising the country because no action is taken against them by the authorities,” the statement added. The IHI members also condemned the incitement to violence and threats against Justice Pervez Ali Shah, the Mumtaz Qadri case judge, and others who differed with the narrow views of extremist groups.
“The IHI members including Sungi, Rozan, PODA, WORD, Bedari, SDPI, PEAD, CPDI, Aurat Foundation, Pattan, Shirakat, Care International, IBHI and a large number of concerned citizens urge the government to provide protection and ensure the security of judges, lawyers and witnesses, schools and students who stand up against violence and support justice and the rule of law,” the statement added.