LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) condemned the Quetta suicide attack on Monday.
The HRCP criticised the inability of the authorities concerned to protect citizens through effective counter-terrorism measures.
In a statement, the commission said: “The HRCP condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the killing of Balochistan Bar Association president Bilal Anwar Kasi and the bombing at Quetta’s Civil Hospital.”
“This coordinated mowing down of lawyers is unacceptable and outrageous. Official condemnation of this latest massacre in Quetta or calling it the work of a foreign intelligence agency is not enough. The state has the responsibility to safeguard the lives of all citizens from all actors who have an appetite for bloodletting,” it said.
It said that the government must ensure its counter-terrorism plan worked. “It is particularly important to focus on security of citizens in Balochistan, where signs of some let up in violence over recent months had fuelled hopes for a return to normalcy,” it said.
The National Commission for Justice and Peace, a rights based organisation of Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference, also condemned the attack.
In a joint statement, Bishop Dr Joseph Arshad, the NCJP chairperson, Rev Fr Emmanuel Yousaf Mani and Cecil Shane Chaudhry said that killing of innocent people was inhuman act and totally unacceptable. “The government needs to improve security and ensure all citizens’s right to life,” they said.
They said that Balochistan had experienced 1,400 incidents of violence and target killing over the past 15 years. “The commission and the Catholic Church stand firmly with the people of Balochistan in this hour of need. We plead to the government to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice,” they said.