Divided in peace, political parties unite in grief

Condemnations pour in as political leaders visit Lady Reading Hospital.

Hidayat Khan December 16, 2014

PESHAWAR: Leaders of different political parties condemned what is being called ‘the most gruesome terror attack in the history of the country’ in the strongest possible words on Tuesday and stressed the need for national unity against a common enemy.

A number of political figures and government officials visited Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) and Combined Military Hospital (CMH) where most of the injured and dead were brought.

Chief Minister Khyber-Pakhthukhwa (K-P) Pervez Khattak visited CMH and condemned the act of terror that claimed over 140 lives. He announced a Shuhada Package of Rs0.5 million for the family of every deceased and Rs0.2 million for every injured, saying the provincial government will observe three days of mourning. “It is the most heinous act in the history of our country. We stand united and will formulate a strategy to uproot militancy,” said the CM.

“Do we have a national policy to counter militancy?” questioned Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan. He urged the government to call an all parties conference (APC) and devise a counter-terrorism strategy. Former CM Ameer Haider Hoti said the security lapse should be investigated and ‘heads should roll’. ANP General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain also visited the hospital and urged for unity against militants.

Speaking at the LRH, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) provincial president Pir Sabir Shah said, “We need to upgrade the capabilities of our security forces.” He termed the attack an attempt to paralyse the country.

Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) amir Sirajul Haq visited the LRH accompanied by minister for local government Inayatullah Khan. “The perpetrators must be apprehended at all costs,” he said. Haq said the party will offer funeral prayers of the deceased in absentia in Mansoora.

Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) chief Aftab Sherpao, Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan (AJIP) chief Shahram Khan Tarakai and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Hamdullah Jan also condemned the attack and demanded a thorough investigation.

Meanwhile, traders associations announced three days of mourning while lawyers announced to observe a strike on Wednesday (today).

Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2014.


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