NWFP govt-Taliban truce worries HRCP -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

NWFP govt-Taliban truce worries HRCP

THE Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed reservations about the reported terms of agreement between the NWFP government and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Swat.

According to a press release issued on Wednesday, the HRCP said that the NWFP government was negotiating by giving concessions to militant elements engaged in terrorising civilians. It added this could not only glorify them and their illegal acts but also encourage them.

The government’s reconciliatory approach towards those using violence was seen as an incentive o other militants to raise arms against the state and manage a bargaining position, the statement said.

It added that it would be unfortunate if talks between the provincial government and the Taliban lead to a cleans late for armed elements responsible for bombings girls’ schools, NGO outfits and businesses. HRCP encouraged the dialogue but not at the cost of granting impunity to perpetrators of human rights abuses.

The statement added that the militants could not be treated differently from other citizens and given a higher status in imposing their own brand of Islam, laws and morality.

By imposing the Fazalullah kind of Islam in Malakand division, the government was playing with fire besides abdicating its responsibility to protest its citizens, particularly women and religious minorities from being persecuted in the name of religion, the statement said.

Conceding in Malakand would not be the end of the story as the adjoining areas are bound to be affected and religious bigotry would travel throughout the country, the statement said. HRCP warned that such a delicate issue should not be decided from a position of weakness and for the sake of a compromise.
Source: The News
Date:5/15/2008