PARACHINAR: With more and more people from nearby villages reaching the Shaheed Park, the sit-in and shutter-down in protest against Friday’s twin blasts entered its sixth day on Wednesday.

However, no senior official from the federal government visited the victims of the incident in which at least 75 people lost their lives and scores others suffered injuries.

Chief of the Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa was expected to arrive in Parachinar on Tuesday, but the participants of the sit-in, who have been demanding a visit from the army chief and the federal interior minister, were told that inclement weather conditions were not suitable for a helicopter to make landing.

Most speakers at the sit-in and the participants expressed disappointment over the disparity in compensation announced for the victims of the twin blasts and for those affected in the oil-tanker explosion in Bahawalpur. The federal government has announced Rs2 million for victims of the oil tanker explosion, in contrast to Rs300,000 given to victims of terrorism in the tribal areas.

COAS slams bid to create sectarian division

“This sort of discrimination convinces us that our blood is inferior to that of people in other parts of the country,” says Ahsanullah, whose cousin was killed in the June 23 bombings.

On Wednesday, Raja Nasir Abbas, central leader of Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen, Allama Fida Hussain and former senator Allama Abidul Hasnain, among others, spoke at the sit-in.

They demanded that security of the area be handed over to the Kurram Militia, whose personnel were well acquainted with the area, its customs and traditions.

The grandson of Abdus Sattar Edhi, Saeed alias Junior Edhi, announced at the sit-in that an Edhi centre would be set up in the area.

Meanwhile, the Inter-Services Public Relations quoted General Bajwa as saying: “Having failed to divide us through terrorism, our enemy is now trying to target and fragment us along sectarian/ethnic lines which merit a unified national response.”

He said that an ongoing malicious campaign by enemies of Pakistan, which was unwittingly being spread on social media, was regrettable. “For us, every shaheed/injured is equal, regardless of sect/ethnicity and indeed is a great loss. We all are Pakistanis and Muslims who fully respect the religious rights of our Pakistani minorities,” said the COAS.

The ISPR release states that the COAS had spoken to the religious clergy of various sects in the last few days seeking their help in defeating the ongoing ‘sinister’ campaign.

Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2017

Opinion

Editorial

Post-flood economy
Updated 24 Sep, 2022

Post-flood economy

WITH a third of the country — especially Sindh and Balochistan — under water, over 33m people displaced, and...
Panadol shortage
24 Sep, 2022

Panadol shortage

FROM headaches to fever to bodily pain — paracetamol is used ubiquitously in Pakistan as the go-to remedy for most...
Star-struck cops
24 Sep, 2022

Star-struck cops

IN this age of selfies and social media, it is easy to get carried away in the presence of famous people, even if ...
Timely remorse
Updated 23 Sep, 2022

Timely remorse

The country needs more leaders, not rabble-rousers.
Miranda Warning
23 Sep, 2022

Miranda Warning

BEATINGS, rape, sleep deprivation, electric shocks, even waterboarding — the Punjab Police is notorious for...
Nuclear geopolitics
23 Sep, 2022

Nuclear geopolitics

TWO key international issues — Iran’s stand-off with the West over the former’s nuclear programme, and Russian...