Published in The News International on Jan. 13 ::
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) comprising 33 civil society organisations Monday in a press conference expressed its reservations over the government’s commitment and vision to eliminate terrorism after an attack on Army Public School in Peshawar.
It has voiced concern over rising violence in society amidst claims from the government for controlling extremism and terrorism in the country.
In a statement, JAC voiced concern over an attack on peaceful demonstrators in Lahore paying tributes to late Punjab Governor Salman Taseer.
“Arrest of peaceful protesters in Peshawar, attacks on peaceful assemblies of civil society organisations in Islamabad and Lahore show that the claims of the government are baseless and lack political will to control such forces,” said JAC. The conference was addressed by Muhammad Tahseen, Irfan Mufti, human rights activist Diep Syeda, human rights lawyer Hina Jilani, Neelam Hussain, Salman Abid and Nasreen Zahra.
The speakers observed that terrorism and extremism are the products of wrong policies by the governments over the last three decades. Extremism is a social attitude and political practice and cannot be rooted out with counter actions of forces, speedy trials and executions. This requires comprehensive measures to root out messages of hate, controlling dangerous speech, laws and actions of discrimination, protection and equality of citizens, stringent actions against those imposing their ideologies on citizens by force and means of coercion, the speakers said. JAC has demanded the government take serious and clear actions against those who are challenging writ of the state and check and control seminaries.