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Two eyes for a tooth

KARACHI (AsiaNews): The government in Pakistan set about taking two eyes for a tooth when it launched a bloody crackdown on Islamist terror groups in retaliation for the February 16 attack on a Sufi temple in the Sindh, which left 80 people dead.

Police have been rampaging around Karachi and other major cities in the country, reporting that they have flushed out and killed over 100 people suspected of terrorist activities. Islamabad is also pressuring Kabul to return 76 more that are in hiding in Afghanistan.

Samson Salamat, the chairperson of Rwadari Tehreek (Movement for Tolerance), told AsiaNews, “Pakistan is shocked by this new wave of extremism and terrorism that has affected all provinces. The federal government and provincial ones, as well as anti-terrorism agencies are responsible.”

He spoke of frustration at the inactivity of the government over several years, which he says is not an excuse for coming out shooting when their lack of care produces a catastrophe.

Samson added that the result is continuous violence from both sides of the fence, with the general public powerless even to speak out, but added that he believes that civic society must find a way to break its silence and put pressure on the government.

A writer, Ajmal Shabir, commented, “Our hearts are broken. The attack on the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Temple shows that the poor and vulnerable can be a target at any time. On the contrary, the chief minister and all politicians are safe.”

A popular columnist, Adnan Rehmat, called for the removal of the religious element from the constitution to establish once and for all that the task of the state is to ensure the welfare of people, not use them to further its delusions of grandeur in emerging as the leader of the Islamic world.

He argued that the delusions of the government have led to the protection of terrorists, while the poor are wearied by the killings among their numbers simply to feed the grandiose dreams of the powerful few.

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