Anniversary: Govt urged to hold impartial probe into church attacks

Published: March 18, 2016
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CICF laments ‘hostile attitude’ towards Youhanabad residents. PHOTO: AFP

CICF laments ‘hostile attitude’ towards Youhanabad residents. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: The Cecil and Iris Chaudhry Foundation (CICF) on Thursday demanded an impartial investigation into last year’s suicide bomb attacks at churches in Youhanabad.

“One year later, we hold in our prayers and thoughts not only those who lost their lives in the attacks but also the loved ones they left behind. The scars may have healed but the pain lingers on,” CICF president Michelle Chaudhry said in a statement.

She expressed disappointment over the provincial government’s role and the law enforcement agencies’ “hostile attitude towards the residents of Youhanabad”. “The residents of Youhanabad are still being harassed and illegally detained in the lynching case,” she said.

“By no means do we condone the lynching. However by declaring it ‘the worst form of terrorism’ the government has shifted the focus to the lynching incident, subsuming the church attacks which left 20 people dead and over 80 injured.”

She called upon the government to implement the Supreme Court’s June 19, 2014 order to promote religious and social tolerance and ensure the protection of religious minorities in Pakistan.

“The foundation demands that the much talked about National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism also be implemented in its letter and spirit.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2016.

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