02/18/2017, 12.24
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Pakistani police kill over 100 terrorists in raid following Sufi temple attack

by Shafique Khokhar

The suicide attack in Sindh killed more than 80 people gathered in prayer. The National Action Plan against Terrorism was approved, but lacks the political will to put it into practice. "We must eliminate the Islamic religious element in the Constitution".

Karachi (AsiaNews) - The government in Islamabad has launched a manhunt across the country looking for affiliates to Islamic terrorism. Blanket checks were carried out in major cities as a response to the bloody attack carried out two days ago by a militant of the Islamic state on a Sufi temple in Sindh, which killed more than 80 people gathered in prayer. The police report that they have found and killed more than 100 terrorists, while the authorities are putting pressure on the government in Kabul to deliver 76 others affiliated with extremist groups hiding in Afghanistan.

Speaking to AsiaNews activists, intellectuals and educators say they are concerned about the climate of renewed violence that is sowing fear and fear throughout society. Samson Salamat, chairman of Rwadari Tehreek (Movement for tolerance), says: "Pakistan is shocked by this new wave of extremism and terrorism that has affected all provinces." He states: "The federal government and provincial ones, as well as anti-terrorism agencies, are responsible. For years we have asked for policies and strategies to deal with violent terrorism, but in reply we only had a few initiatives that do not go to the heart of the problem. Despite a national action plan that has been approved to fight terrorism, it has never been fully put into practice with commitment from all parties concerned".

The result of this inaction, he continues, "is that we are witnessing continuous violence and are helpless against the illegal groups that hold events, meetings and collect money in public." What’s worse, he points out, "is that even some people in government show a weak attitude towards the terrorists or even allow their public demonstrations. This is unacceptable. Government and state officials must propose clear policies. The political agenda’s primary goal must be zero tolerance towards all forms of extremism. The nation needs to break the silence and put pressure on the government. "

According to the educator Ishtiaq Ahmed, "all decent people should condemn attacks that target the innocent. Do we want a society in which no one is safe and fanatics with guns can go around wreaking havoc among our people? The so-called holy war from Afghanistan again threatens our lives”.

The writer Ajmal Shabir adds: "Our hearts are broken. The attack on the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar temple shows that the poor and vulnerable can be a target at any time. On the contrary, the chief minister and all politicians are safe.”

Adnan Rehmat, a popular columnist, believes that the time has come to "eliminate the religious element [Islamic] from the Constitution and establish once and for all that the task of the state is to ensure the welfare of citizens and not to use them for its delusions of grandeur in wanting to emerge as the leader of the Ummah [Islamic community] on the basis of religious and confessional identity. Otherwise the state would align what they want and glorify the terrorists. " "Poor people - he concludes - are tired of being murdered for these grandiose religious experiments."

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