Shia clerics and leaders on Saturday demanded a military operation against the perpetrators of the twin blasts that tore through two busy marketplaces of Parachinar on Friday, killing at least 57 people and injuring more than 150 others.
Addressing a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Imamia Ulema Council President Allama Khurshid Anwar and Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) Acting Secretary General Allama Syed Aamir Haider Shamshi strongly condemned the attack and demanded a military operation akin to the one carried out in Swat.
“This (the attacks) must stop. We cannot afford to be pushed against the wall anymore,” warned Khurshid. He demanded the government take effective steps to eliminate terrorism and launch a ‘clean-up’ operation against terrorists across the country. Khurshid also asked authorities to start an air ambulance service to shift the injured victims of Friday’s attack to hospitals in Peshawar.
“Terrorists will not succeed in their nefarious designs and will face defeat,” said Khurshid. He claimed the surge in terror attacks coincided with the newly-elected government’s deliberations of holding talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Khurshid maintained constant attacks, particularly against the Shia community, had proved the government’s helplessness in taking action against terrorists who continuously challenge its writ. “Whenever they (terrorists) want, they target innocent people and the government law enforcement agencies have failed to prevent such attacks.”
He said the silence and inaction of the state and its security services emboldens elements of terror, who carry out attacks with impunity. Khurshid also took potshots at the media and claimed the attack in Parachinar was not given proper coverage.
Allama Shamsi vowed to give more sacrifices and claimed such attacks will not deter them. He said Jumatul Wida (the last Friday of Ramazan) will be observed as ‘Al Youm-e-Quds’ and asked the government to provide full protection to Shia processions and places of worship.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2013.