ISLAMABAD: The head of Iraqi parliamentary party on Friday called upon Pakistan to eliminate terrorist cells, their facilitators and sponsors from the country.

Ammar al-Hakim, chief of Al Hikmah, in a letter to the Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM), condemned the bomb blast at a mosque in Peshawar and expressed sorrow and grief over the loss of innocent lives.

Meanwhile, the MWM said the state institutions had failed to perform their duties, adding that the tragic accident had left the whole country in mourning. He said some elements were conspiring against Pakistan.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, MWM deputy secretary general Allama Ahmad Iqbal Rizvi said Pakistan was created so that all Muslims could live and exercise their faith freely. “It is a fact that global forces are conspiring against Pakistan and backing the sectarian extremists to resort to terror tactics, but why the government and courts do not see the massacre of Shias?” he asked.

“The government, despite having all resources, has failed to protect the life of the faithful and the most unfortunate part is that the state has been watching and supporting religious fanaticism over the years,” he added.

Meanwhile, a protest demonstration was held outside the National Press Club in Islamabad against the Peshawar tragedy. Addressing the protesters, speakers said the authorities must have seen the result of “their desire to bring the enemies of the country into mainstream”.

“Extending the hand of friendship to terrorists tantamount to deliberately destroying peace and security of the country,” they said. “The rule of law should prevail while dealing with terrorists.”

Chief of Shia Ulema Council of Pakistan Allama Sajid Naqvi condemned the Peshawar blast and announced that a nationwide protest would be held on Sunday.

“Such acts are committed to pit Shia and Sunni citizens against each other, but only our unity can foil the nefarious designs of the terrorists,” he said in a statement. “But this [Peshawar] tragedy has also exposed the performance of those responsible for providing security in the country.”

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2022

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