LAHORE: Strongly condemning recent terrorist attacks on political parties, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called upon the government to fulfill its duty of protecting the politicians.
HRCP said that is seriously alarmed at the series of murderous attacks on political leaders in different parts of the country that have already claimed many lives.
It expressed grief over a terrorist attack on an ANP meeting in Peshawar on Tuesday in which a dozen people were killed and also condemned an attack on the convoy of Sanaullah Zehri of PML-N in Balochistan which resulted in the death of his brother, a son and a nephew as well as the killing of an MQM candidate in Hyderabad.
"The Commission expresses sincere condolences to the bereaved families and the parties concerned. These attacks point to an increasing trend of violence which, if not quickly curtailed, will certainly sabotage the election process.The climate of fear and intimidation surrounding the election campaign has a direct and adverse bearing on free and fair elections," said a statement issued Wednesday.
While it recognized that all parties face a threat from extremist elements, it said there is clear evidence to suggest that some face considerably greater danger than others.
"The Commission finds the situation in regard to the ANP as particularly alarming. The ANP has been the victim and target of a vicious and consistent campaign of terrorism. Over the past few days ANP candidates and workers have been attacked in Swat, Shabqadar and several other places."
"The Commission demands that the care-taker government takes all adequate and necessary measures for ensuring the safety of all political leaderships and workers. The government must give top priority to this task, as its primary responsibility," read the statement.
HRCP also said that it expected the leaders of all political parties to rise above their inter-party differences and display solidarity in condemning these dastardly attacks.
“It is imperative that democratic forces display due awareness of the threat that these attacks pose to democracy and the country and the willingness to fight it together. They must unitedly face the challenge thrown by the militants of various hues instead of being eliminated one after the other.”