PESHAWAR: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that people reserve the right to ask the security agencies why they are not safe despite years of operations against terrorists and claims that they have been neutralised.

He visited Peshawar on Sunday to condole with the victims’ families of the Friday bombing at a mosque that left 63 people dead and some 200 wounded.

Speaking to media, the JUI-F chief said that security forces conducted operations across the country, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, for years to stamp out terrorism and provide safety to citizens.

“As a result of these operations millions were displaced, especially from the tribal districts. Thousands of them have yet to return to their homes. But the government and the security organisations have failed to provide security to people,” he said.

JUI-F chief says govt and security agencies failed to protect people; families of bombing victims protest in Peshawar

Mr Rehman said that they asked the institutions as to why they failed to safeguard the lives and properties of people. “We will foil the nefarious designs of forces bent on creating chaos and fueling sectarianism,” he added.

To a question, he said that opposition would table a no-confidence motion against the government within a few days. “We have the strength and have prepared a draft of the resolution to push through the motion,” he added.

The JUI-F chief alleged that government was spending money of taxpayers to send members of National Assembly abroad on tours. He dispelled the impression that the opposition movement failed, claiming that government was isolated through the combined and sustained efforts of the opposition parties.

Meanwhile, the special representative of prime minister on religious harmony, Maulana Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, also visited Peshawar to condole with the families of the victims.

On this occasion, he said that the Friday’s incident did not belong to a particular school of thought. He said that it was their joint issue.

Their (the victims) only sin was that they raised slogan of Allah-o-Akbar (God is Great). That was why they were targeted. “We are all Hussaini and we are ready to render sacrifices for our country,” he said.

He added that the culprits would be brought to justice and the case would be sent to anti-terrorism court for speedy trail.

Meanwhile, the families of the bombing victims staged a protest demonstration in the city. A large number of people including families of the victims participated in the rally, which was started from Church Road.

“Targeting faithful in a mosque is height of brutality,” said Allama Shabir Hassan Maisami, general secretary of Shia Ulema Council. “There is no religion of those bombing a mosque,” he added.

He said that as citizens of Pakistan, the people were prepared for any sacrifice for their country. “But for the last 20 years, the blood of the people has been spilled for no reason. Why is the state not answerable for this carnage? Why is it silent and not acting against the murderers,” he questioned.

Allama Shabir said that Shia community had been at the forefront of those, who offered sacrifices for the country, and would continue to do so. “But why are we not safe against the threat from foreign elements,” he questioned.

He said that Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid claimed that there was no security alert but they knew that there was one. “We should be informed about who facilitated the terrorists? We should know why the killers of APS children have not been arrested yet,” he added.

He said if the victims of the bombing did not get justice, the council would give a call for a nationwide protest.

Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2022

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