Taliban courts prove state failure: HRCP: Swat turmoil -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Taliban courts prove state failure: HRCP: Swat turmoil

LAHORE, Jan 27: The summoning of politicians and citizens to Shariah courts in Swat is further testimony to the absence of the state’s writ and the growing boldness of militants, says the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

Dr Mehdi Hasan, vice-chairperson of the HRCP, said on Tuesday: “Repeated official vows of regaining control of the security situation in Swat valley have been laid bare by extremists’ call to politicians from the restive valley to appear before Taliban courts.”

He said the situation had worsened as a result of the government’s denial and its “appalling inability to even jam a radio station” broadcasting propaganda by the Taliban.

“It is all very well to issue statements vowing not to allow parallel justice, but increasingly it seems that Taliban’s justice and rule has no competition in the Swat region,” he added.

Government claims of having control over the area are impossible to believe, he said, when citizens continue to be killed in brazen attacks and the illegal Taliban radio station announces the names of the people that they would kill later in the day.

Despite the fact that provincial and national lawmakers have conceded they have no control over the area, concrete steps in addressing the situation are lacking, he said. “The government must immediately share a frank assessment of the security situation with the people…it must also share an objective analysis of any progress, or a lack thereof, during the military operation.”

He called upon all political parties, especially those represented in legislature, to join in calls for order. He added that all segments of society, including religious communities, must play an active role in ensuring that the government handled the matter in a transparent manner.

Source: Dawn

Date:1/28/2009