ASIA/PAKISTAN - A country under terrorist attack: civil society calls for the commitment of the government

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - "Terrorism in Pakistan has become a very serious problem in recent years. The death toll of terrorist attacks has risen to about 60,000 over the past 13 years. The government is protecting institutions and military areas, but must also protect civil society and minority communities from these Taliban. Christians, Hindus, Ahmadis and even moderate Muslims live in fear and many are trying to leave the country. In 2012, thousands of Hindus left Pakistan and took refuge in India, thousands of Christians sought refuge in South Asia". This is what Farrukh H. Saif, Executive Director of the NGO "World Vision in Progress", engaged in the protection and security of Christians and other minorities in Pakistan says to Fides Agency, commenting on the recent attack at the airport in Karachi, claimed by the Taliban.
"It is not the first attack in areas of high military, civil or religious value", remarked Saif. "It all began with the controversial policy of Islamization of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in the 80s. These policies have destroyed peace and tolerance in Pakistan, launching a wild wave of sectarianism, religious fanaticism and summary justice, which has engulfed our society. Religious extremism has grown beyond all proportion".
In a statement sent to Fides by the "Pakistan Peace Coalition", which includes organizations, clubs and associations of all religions, including Christians, Pakistan's civil society condemns the terrorist act in Karachi and have asked the institutions to ensure compliance with the rule of law in the country. The forum urges to tackle the main causes of the spread of radical militancy and terrorism, calling on the state to seriously do more with regards to the welfare and development of its citizens.
The budget used for defense and security - it says - remains one of the highest in the annual budget of the state", and yet, the Pakistani citizens are at the mercy of terrorists". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 10/06/2014)