THE suicide bombing in Lahore took a number of precious lives and crippled dozens of others. Apparently, another security lapse allowed terrorists to slip into the heavily guarded area.
Mob sacrificing is no new thing in our country. Time and again such tragedies have occurred but we have failed to control these attacks.
There is a dire need for implementing the security action plan in Punjab to protect civilians from terror attacks. Also, the pulpit should play a role in curbing extremism which encourages terror attacks in the name of religion.
Religious scholars must come forward and denounce such acts. It is sad to know that a high alert was signalled to all security agencies by the National Counter-Terrorism Authority on Feb 7 about the expected terror attack.
Foolproof arrangements should have been made to avoid such a colossal tragedy.
THE National Action Plan, launched almost two years back after the tragic APS incident, did initially yield tremendous results, but the gallant personnel of the army and the Rangers were restricted to only three smaller provinces.
They do not seem to have focussed on Punjab, the largest province, which is, in fact, the breeding ground and nursery for all terrorist organisations.
We are all familiar with the saying that where there is a will there is a way. This was demonstrated by great countries like the US and the UK after the tragic incidents of 9/11 and 7/7.
With determination, will and sincerity, these countries never let any such gruesome and horrifying terrorist activity on their soil.
It’s time the NAP was implemented in letter and in spirit. The army must start taking action in Punjab also and the banned organisations must never be allowed to take out processions anywhere in the country under any new names.
The recent judicial report of Justice Faeez Essa on the Quetta incident should be an eye-opener for our policymakers.
THE terrorist attack on peaceful protesters and police personnel that claimed 15 precious lives, including seven policemen and officials, left the whole nation in profound sorrow. It must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
I would like to link it to another event that took place a few kilometres from Monday’s blast in Punjab University. The Islami Jamiat-i-Talaba, responsible for imposing Sharia inside the university, attacked Jauhar Hall Hostel No. 1, tortured non-local students, mainly from Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Fata and forced them to evacuate the hostel.
Those forced to vacate the hostel are now residing in mosques or under the trees in such intense weather. The administration seems helpless. The police on their part are forcing students not to protest.
Now we all are talking about NAP and its implementation but no one draws attention towards such terrorist and inhumane activities that too are taking place in one of Pakistan’s largest and oldest institutions. The authorities concerned, specially the Punjab government and the interior ministry, must take action against such extremist activities against non-local students.
THE Lahore attack claimed many lives and left hundreds with pain, anguish and despair. We cannot put up with this agony anymore. No life is secure until we exterminate every single element of terrorism from our soil without any discrimination.
Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2017