LAHORE:(APS)August 17-While offering condolences to the families of the victims of the Attock terrorist blast the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called upon the federal and Punjab governments to reappraise their strategy for fighting terrorism. In a statement issued here today the commission said:
“The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) shares the people’s shock and grief at the loss of 19 precious lives in what has been described as a suicide bombing attack on the outhouse of the Punjab Home Minister, Col (R) Suja Khanzada; and offers its condolences to all the bereaved families. The element of shock at the outrage was increased by the fact that only two days earlier the nation had received the tidings of success in breaking the back of militancy.
“The ghastly incident has thrown up several critical questions about the anti-terrorism strategy and its implementation. The Punjab government cannot deny responsibility for the security lapse that led to the heavy loss of life. Despite the threats Col Shuja Khandaza had been receiving for many days he was virtually without a security cover on Sunday. Even the elite police squad attached to him was not present and apparently access to the meeting venue was not controlled. Although no group has so far owned responsibility for the attack the possible involvement of the group of Malik Ishaq, who was recently killed in an encounter, cannot be ruled out. Nor can the government afford to be complacent about the existence of terrorist groups in Punjab. The government will also be well advised to scrutinise the anti-terrorism measures. All its actions must be in accordance with the law as any deviation from this principle will increase the threat to government leaders and the security personnel and undermine the success of the National Action Plan. Besides, ways must be found to restore the people’s confidence in the security forces’ capacity to protect them.”