Concern at sectarian violence
LAHORE: The South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) has expressed concern at the growing religious terrorism in the country.
In a statement here on Monday by SAHR chairperson Hina Jilani, it was said that the first 10 days of January saw two major attacks on members of the Shia sect in Balochistan, including those from the Hazara community.
The fact that banned sectarian groups openly claimed responsibility and the government appeared helpless or unwilling to act against them is a sad commentary on the state of callous disregard for human life, it said.
The unchecked growth of religious militancy has also affected the work of NGOs, civil society and human rights defenders, it said, lamenting that a committed rights activist, Irfan Khudi Ali, also fell victim to Jan 10 Quetta massacre when he stepped out of his house to help blast victims. NGO workers, particularly women, had been kidnapped or shot dead in other parts of the country.
The SAHR called upon the government to act against militancy and terrorism with sustained political will and determination, as it is a state responsibility under its own laws and international human rights instruments to provide protection to people on the basis of their ethnicity or religious beliefs.