LAHORE, Nov 22: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan condemned the killing of about 25 innocent citizens on the grounds of their belief and called for serious efforts to subdue the monster of sectarianism.

In a statement issued here on Thursday, HRCP said: “No words are strong enough to condemn Wednesday’s killing spree in which around 25 innocent Pakistanis were slaughtered while performing belief-related rituals nor are adequate for expressing the shame to which the whole nation has been put.

It seems the new breed of religious zealots wanted to tell the D-8 dignitaries all about the mess the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has been turned into. Quite obviously the targeting of the Shia citizens has reached a new high this year and many quarters apprehend more bloodshed on Ashura. All kinds of eminent figures in government and political parties have issued condemnatory statements and spokespersons of federal and provincial governments are making tall claims about their plans to maintain peace.

The virus of sectarianism that has been eating into the vitals of the Pakistan society can be exorcised neither by politicians’ hackneyed rhetoric nor by the antics of ineffective law enforcement agencies. Everybody knows who the Shia-baiters are and what new theories to justify murder on account of religious or sectarian differences the latest crop of jihadis have spawned.

Thus, while the administration must do all it can to deal with the crime part of the sectarian militants’ agenda, and prove that their actions can match their proclamations, the leaders of the various schools of religious thought must admit their failure to keep their followers under some discipline. They must seriously work towards reviving the indigenous traditions of tolerance, for they are as much responsible for making Pakistan unlivable as anyone else.”

Updated Nov 23, 2012 03:26am

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