Press release, July 21, 2008
Lahore: The government must immediately put an end to bloodshed in Kurram Agency and restore its writ in a region held hostage by terrorists engaged in sectarian violence, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said in a press statement on Monday.
The Commission said: “The people of Kurram Agency have been suffering horrific sectarian violence at the hands of home-bred and foreign terrorists since April 2007. For over a year, the main road connecting the agency to the rest of Pakistan has been occupied by militants who close it as and when they please. Ambulances have been attacked, innocent people slaughtered and dismembered bodies in sacks found dumped by the roadside. Heavy weapons are used to target peaceful civilian neighbourhoods. Communication and water supply systems have been destroyed, and the local economy ruined.
The situation has grown from bad to worse. There is little evidence that government’s efforts to restore law and order have worked so far.
The agency has been virtually cut off from the rest of the country, prices of essentials have hit the sky, development activities have suspended and closure of courts and government offices are causing serious problems for the people living in the agency.
The government needs to act in a manner to restore confidence of this area’s people in rule of law and the government’s ability to ensure rights for the people. The government needs to ensure that Kurram residents are duly protected.
Asma Jahangir, Chairperson