HRCP flays setting ablaze of 16 houses by banned activist
LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has condemned the setting ablaze of 16 houses by Muhammad Khan, an activist of the banned Tehrik-e-Nifaz Shahriah Muhammadi, in Doogdara village of Upper Dir in NWFP on October 14.
In a statement on Friday, the HRCP expressed concern over the incident and asked the authorities to take action against Mr Khan, a proclaimed offender, who stormed the village over an old enmity.
The statement said that the alleged rival of Mr Khan was now overseas, but their enmity had harmed several innocent people. The incident had showed that the security situation in Pakistan had deteriorated, the statement added.
The facts that Mr Khan enforced ‘Shariah’ in the area a few years ago, declared himself ‘ameer’ and established courts to protect “his own murderous activities”, highlighted that the state’s ability to prevent anarchy had weakened and the public was losing confidence.
The statement said the police’s attempt to ignore the incident was unfortunate and was also unfortunate that no inquiry had been ordered so far. The fate of 50 to 80 people, mostly women and children, who had fled their homes after the incident, was still unclear and no effort had been made to ensure their safety or to compensate them, the statement said. The statement also dubbed it unfortunate that Mr Khan had not been arrested.
The statement said the attack indicated how setting up ‘Qazi’ courts in Northern Areas was risky and was likely to allow “men of violence” to determine the fate of people living in these areas. The HRCP hoped that the incident would alarm authorities and they would take action against those who were trying to establish ‘states within a state’. The commission demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident.