Press Release, August 21
LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has expressed its shock and alarm at Wednesday’s killing in Peshawar of two women by Taliban moral police and at the government’s inability to prevent the spread of such brazen violations of individual rights, especially women’s. A note left with the women’s bodies, accusing them of immoral behaviour, warned others of similar repercussions if they didn’t reform.
A statement by the Chairperson of the commission said on Thursday: “The killing of women by extremists and the Taliban over suspicion of their character, even for talking to men outside of their family, has not been unknown in the Tribal Areas. The killing yesterday is perhaps the first of its kind in Peshawar where the Taliban have repeated their Tribal Area strategy of advertised executions.
Extremists taking lives of human beings at whim is alarming, but even more disturbing is the fact that the government seems unable and sometimes unwilling to stop them.
Among obvious things it points to the feeble writ of the state — that needs to be strengthened across the country — receding in the face of Taliban advances beyond the Tribal Areas. It is beyond belief that the Government, which presented itself as helpless to enforce their writ in Tribal Areas, is letting this blatant violation in settled areas of the country.
The state can certainly do something better than abandoning its citizens to live in areas controlled by Taliban moral police.
Because of lack of previous action, the state must immediately demonstrate that it has both the ability and willingness to ensure that extremist do not have the audacity to deny the citizens basic freedom and rights, including the right to life.
HRCP demands immediate intervention and that swift action is taken to prevent future attacks and thwart Taliban from occupying further territory.