The legal fraternity on Wednesday strongly condemned the deadly terrorist assault on Charsadda’s Bacha Khan University (BKU) and expressed solidarity with families of those martyred and injured.
Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Azam Nazir Tarar requested lawyers to hold protest meetings of respective bar associations to condemn the heinous incident and sport black bands while appearing in courts on Thursday (today). Tarar called on the federal and provincial governments to immediately arrest the culprits and award them exemplary punishment. He also rapped the federal and provincial law enforcement agencies in maintaining order nationwide. Tarar emphasised the need to evolve a foolproof strategy to secure educational institutions across the nation and ensuring student and teacher safety.
Supreme Court Bar Association president Syed Ali Zafar said terrorists had no faith. He said the bar stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the government and military in their fight against terrorism. However, he said, they must ensure that schools and universities were provided with adequate security to minimise the possibility of such attacks from taking place again. Zafar said it was the government’s duty to devise a mechanism to secure the nation’s future and prevent terrorists from executing their nefarious designs.
The Punjab Bar Council also condemned the raid on the varsity and pledged to observe a complete province-wide strike on Thursday (today). The council’s vice chairman Farah Ejaz Baig said protests and vigils would be organised across the province.
She lamented that failure of the government and law enforcement agencies to effectively discharge their duties. She said the attack could have been averted if exemplary punishments had been meted out to those involved in earlier incidents of terrorism and foolproof security arrangements were ensured nationwide.
The Lahore High Court Bar Association and the Lahore Bar Association also condemned the incident and gave separate calls to observe a strike and day of mourning on Thursday (today).
The National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), a rights organisation of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference, also strongly condemned the Charsadda attack.
Reverend Father Emmanuel Yousaf Mani and executive director Cecil Shane Chaudhry said slaughtering innocent students was unacceptable. They said Pakistan was ranked second in the world among nations with the highest number of school dropouts. Mani and Chaudhry said studies showed that only five per cent of the students obtained higher education in the nation. They said it is essential for the government to take necessary action to ensure safety of all educational institutions to protect the brilliant engaged in shaping a better and more intellectual Pakistan. Mani and Chaudhry said the commission and the Catholic Church stood firmly with the people of Charsadda in their hour of grief and requested the government to bring the perpetrators of the act to justice.
AWP condemns assault
The Awami Workers’ Party (AWP) expressed solidarity with relatives of those martyred in the Charsadda attack.
Strongly condemning the deadly terrorist assault, the party called on authorities to fix responsibility of failure to thwart the attack. The AWP called on all “democratic and pro-people forces” to come together and critically examine the manner in which the National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism had been implemented and how the military campaign against terrorist outfits was being executed.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2016.