#NeverForget: Raising voices against extremism, two months on

Civil society gather at Teen Talwar to demand action against extremists

Members of civil society gathered at Teen Talwar on Monday to make sure the government does not forget the lives lost in the Peshawar school attack. PHOTO: AYSHA SALEEM /EXPRESS

KARACHI: The civil society will make sure the government does not forget the innocent lives lost in consecutive terrorist attacks across the country.

Marking two months into the Peshawar school attack in which over 130 students lost their lives, members of the civil society gathered at Teen Talwar on Monday evening. "We will not keep calm and will protest on the 16th of every month for at least one year," announced social activist Jibran Nasir, who is spearheading the #NeverForget movement.

'Justice delayed is justice denied' is the motto that the protesters put forward. Nasir clarified their movement is not restricted to Defence and Clifton. "On March 16, we will record our protest in North Karachi to mark three months of the Peshawar school attack," he announced, while talking to The Express Tribune.

Nasir added that they were also raising their voice against the two imambargah attacks that took place in Shikarpur and Peshawar in the past 30 days.

Nasir was joined by more than 50 people from the National Students Federation, the Democratic Students Federation (DSF) and Pakistan Institute of Labour Education Research to protest growing extremism in the country.

The protesters shouted slogans against the law enforcement agencies, the government and the militants, holding them responsible for the lives lost. "We should all raise our voice against the terrorist attacks following one after another," said DSF Karachi president Naghma Sheikh. "Hate language has become part of our curriculum in madrassas and it should be restricted," she added.

Another protester Zehra Saeed demanded accountability of the militants group responsible for the bloodshed. "It seems as if our police, military and agencies are protecting the militants," claimed 26-year-old Riyasat Ali.

One of the organisers, Javed Qazi, who is a lawyer by profession, said they are helping people wake up and never forget the tragedy that unfolded in Peshawar. "We will do whatever we can in our personal capacities," said Qazi, "Motivating people to step out for their safety is what we aim."

The protesters demanded justice for all, good governance, accountability and safety for every Pakistani. "Our government should protect every sect whether Shia or Sunni," said a protester, Zeba Ghyaas. "We are all humans and are equally a part of Pakistan."

Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2015.

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