Abbottabad police, I blame you!

Several were killed and hundreds injured when police opened fire at protesters - will the guilty be tried?

Asif Nawaz December 19, 2010
Being a resident of Abbottabad and having been a witness to all the processions of the Hazara Movement, it's a welcome thought to know that the National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights has rejected the inquiry report submitted by a judicial commission on the police violence that took place in the city on April 12, 2010.

From what I know, the Hazara Movement actually functioned on the stance of non-violence. I was attending college on the day that all the protesters were rallying against the renaming of Khyber Pakhtunwa, and I'm not sure what led to the police firing at the protesters. It was only on my way back that I was told about the killings. Some say that the protesters went out of their way and attacked the police station, others believe that the people involved in encountering the police were not the protesters de facto, but rather miscreants who by no means were functioning on the movement's policy.

Whatever the truth, the fault remains with the police. If, as the police say, they were attacked, essentially no major casualties among the police force were recorded. Moreover, there were no warning shots by the police, and the doctors of the DHQ hospital narrated the shots on the protesters to be on vital regions. If the police were trying to defend themselves, they could have done so with tear-gas shelling or even if they were inclined to shoot, they could have easily saved the lives by aiming at the limbs of the masses.

Secondly, it is widely known and was excessively reported too, that almost no officials of the Abbottabad police were involved in the incident. That day, the force was summoned from the other regions of the province, so that they wouldn't shake while progressing to the extreme of defence.

Aiming at the protesters was utterly uncalled for; this was not a commando operation. The event was followed by a lot of criticism and left a question mark on the government's disposition. The higher rank-holders of the police force were soon posted and shifted, but that did nothing to undo the harm that was done.

It's somewhat heartening to see that the committee of human rights does not seem to want to compromise on the truth, but it's shameful that the culprits of the incident haven't been brought to justice yet, with nearly a year having passed since the tragedy.
Asif Nawaz Asif Nawaz is a doctor from Abbottabad who's either traveling or writing while not procrastinating. He tweets as @asifnz (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Abdur Rehman | 13 years ago | Reply It is so ironic that the violence in Abbottabad and other parts of Hazara was carried out at the orders of the followers of Bacha Khan's so-called non-violence. People of Hazara were punished for their loyalty and faithfulness to Pakistan by those who never believed in the very creation of this country. Speak to ANP about the construction of Kalabagh Dam and their blood starts boiling whereas they feel good to use elecricity produced in Hazara and their corrupt government digest the revenues earned from Tabbela. April incidents in Hazara have also exposed some opportunist politicians especially from PML-N who always got the biggest share of love from Hazarewalas but shamelessly betrayed them at the time of need. I make them realize that our people may not be very sound financially, but they are very mature and very rich in their values. They never forget anything good or "bad" done to them.
Raqib Ali | 13 years ago | Reply agree with the writer
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