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'Time to take action': Govt to review counter-terrorism strategy after Sialkot lynching, says Mazari

313ghazi

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Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari said on Monday that the government had decided to review the National Action Plan (NAP) on counter-terrorism in the wake of the brutal lynching of a Sialkot factory manager Priyantha Kumara — a Sri Lankan national — over blasphemy allegations last week.


The National Action Plan, enacted through a strong political consensus after the 2014 attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, was aimed at taking result-oriented measures to counter terrorism in the country.


The minister's remarks come amid countrywide outrage after a mob comprising hundreds of protestors tortured to death Kumara over blasphemy allegations and then burnt his body on Friday.


Speaking exclusively to Dawn.com, the minister rued the recurrence of such incidents and called for "strict government action", terming it the "need of the hour".


"This lynching was not the first of its kind. We have seen the case of Mashal Khan, and two of our Christian community members were burnt... it's now time to take definitive action as the state".


She said the distortion of religion and torture of people in its wake should be condemned in the strongest terms.


The human rights minister also expressed worry over growing "extremism" in the country, saying the NAP had to be fully enforced to combat the menace.


"We need to review our laws for devising a comprehensive strategy to prevent such incidents in the future," Mazari stressed. Specifically pointing to the NAP, the minister said It must be seen where the action plan had not been implemented.


She also called upon different parties within the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to "de-link" themselves from Maulana Fazlur Rehman and his leadership for his controversial statement in which he had said that if the state did not take action against those accused of blasphemy, then such incidents will continue to happen.





In the same breath, she defended Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, saying he had already clarified on Twitter that he was misunderstood and that his remarks were reported out of context in sections of the media. It remains unclear which tweet the minister was referring to with regards to the clarification.


Addressing a media talk in Peshawar a day earlier, Khattak had suggested that the ghastly incident should not be linked to the government's decision to lift the ban on the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), saying "murders take place" when young people get emotional.


"You know the reasons [behind this incident] too. When children ... grow up, they become spirited and do things out of emotions. This does not mean 'this was the result of that action'," he had stressed, saying in Sialkot too, some young men had gathered and accused Kumara of disrespecting Islam, which led to the "sudden" lynching.


"We should focus on his clarification that what he had said was misunderstood and reported out of context," said the minister, adding that the prime minister's position was very clear on the issue and this was also the government's position.

'Is the govt mulling a ban on the TLP'?

To a question whether the government planned to ban the TLP after the Sialkot incident, she said the federal cabinet would debate on it before reaching any final decision.


The TLP was linked to the gory incident by users on social media, but the group distanced itself from the lynching and condemned it.


Earlier in October, the TLP and the federal government had reached an agreement after many rounds of talks and two weeks of clashes which left seven policemen and a number of TLP workers dead. The agreement was kept secret, but leaked information suggested consensus on removing the party from the list of banned organisations, release of TLP chief Saad Hussain Rizvi and setting TLP workers free that were held under various charges including anti-terrorism.


A week later, on November 7, the federal cabinet had decided to revoke the declaration putting the TLP on the list of “proscribed” organisations under the country’s anti-terrorism law.



 

IceCold

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What is the point when the state is willing to bend backwards? This is been happening for a while now. Had the state taken strict action, the first time it was done, today the Srilankan Manager would still be alive but alas.
 

Titanium100

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Is this gov't mentally ill or something... why use of the language terror and stuff like that? This was a hate-crime and you just gotta fight the hate-crime and prevent it from happening but no need to go full retarded here
 

TNT

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Hang 30 to 50 ppl of that mob publicly and it wont happen again. Reward and punishment is the only way to control society.
Why you think the stupid drivers in Pakistan suddenly becomes good law abiding drivers in ME and west? Its because in those countries u get punished for breaking the laws and u cannot get away with it. While in Pakistan u can do anything on the road and nothing happens. This stupid govt have no writ and powerful are never punished. Funny how imran khan used to say same things but now he himself has become part of the same rotten system.
 

American Pakistani

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What is the point when the state is willing to bend backwards? This is been happening for a while now. Had the state taken strict action, the first time it was done, today the Srilankan Manager would still be alive but alas.
The state and bajwa as well. Had it been Raheel sharif these tlp terrorists would beg for mercy.
 

313ghazi

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I hope they actually mean it. There are people in this govt who would love to crack down on extremism, unfortunately i don't think they have the confidence of the PM. Fawad Ch for example has been very vocal.
 

Menace2Society

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We have 4.2 million radicalized Pakistanis and 200 million which I call "soft radicalized", these would be the people who have lost their moral compass or desensitized to it. We must bring the sensitivity back because that produces empathy and compassion.

This Medina e Sani concept IK is chasing to fix these societal issues is not the solution, over 500 Jewish men were murdered and women and children taken as slaves. This is not the solution, you will fall flat on your face chasing something that never was.
 

Meengla

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Hang 30 to 50 ppl of that mob publicly and it wont happen again. Reward and punishment is the only way to control society.
As much as it sounds cruel, unfortunately that's the way to tell these violent, Jahil people about consequences.
re-education camps like they did in FATA. Roll out country wide.
I have been saying in this forum: Create giant camps for these Neanderthals and re-educate them. To hell with political correctness! Otherwise, all the begging, hardwork, financial discipline etc done by the govt becomes one-step-forward-two-steps-backward. AND.. no repeat of the stupid press and politicians making a martyr out of these Haramkhors as was done when Musharraf tried to clear the Lal Masjid goons.
 

Meengla

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Though my hopes are low for even medium term changes about reducing radicalism in Pakistan, I am encouraged by an almost unanimous AND vocal condemnation in Pakistan of the tragedy of the poor Sri Lankan manager. We must understand that since Gov. Taseer was assassinated by his own bodyguard, there is self-muzzling going on in Pakistan about the fanatics of the likes of TLP. So it takes courage to say something in the public forums because that exposes those, especially living in Pakistan, to another assassin like the wretched Mumtaz Qadri. One of my favorite Pakistan bloggers is this guy and he is openly calling for the damn murderers of the the SL manager to be hanged.

 

R Wing

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What is the point when the state is willing to bend backwards? This is been happening for a while now. Had the state taken strict action, the first time it was done, today the Srilankan Manager would still be alive but alas.
EXACTLY!

Plus, you can't NOT fight an ideology and simultaneously expect to counter its ramifications.

You can't capitulate to TLP-types and then expect such incidents not to happen. As always, the State is stuck in symptomatic treatments (at best) without considering the deeper, more difficult underlying causes.
 

Dalit

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1. Discard the outdated blasphemy law.
2. Hand out death penalties to people who use religion as a pretext to settle personal scores.

Unless the PTI government doesn't do this the problem will remain and rear its ugly head over and over again.
 

Menace2Society

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Though my hopes are low for even medium term changes about reducing radicalism in Pakistan, I am encouraged by an almost unanimous AND vocal condemnation in Pakistan of the tragedy of the poor Sri Lankan manager. We must understand that since Gov. Taseer was assassinated by his own bodyguard, there is self-muzzling going on in Pakistan about the fanatics of the likes of TLP. So it takes courage to say something in the public forums because that exposes those, especially living in Pakistan, to another assassin like the wretched Mumtaz Qadri. One of my favorite Pakistan bloggers is this guy and he is openly calling for the damn murderers of the the SL manager to be hanged.

People like us are few and far between brother. We lost Pakistan as soon as TTP started their campaign. This is a slow grind down to the depths of hell.
 

Dalit

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What is the point when the state is willing to bend backwards? This is been happening for a while now. Had the state taken strict action, the first time it was done, today the Srilankan Manager would still be alive but alas.
The state is held hostage by illiterate mobs and it likes to be held hostage by illiterate mobs.
 

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