South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional human rights organization, is deeply concerned about the tense situation arisen between Afghanistan and Pakistan owing to Pakistan’s instant reaction to the deadly terror attack in Lahore and the horrendous massacre of pilgrims at the Shrine of Sufi Saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan Sharif, Sindh.
Violence in the two countries continues to rise while in Afghanistan also a considerable number of civilian casualties from attacks of a similar nature are on the rise daily. There is cross border allegation of sanctuaries of terrorism. SAHR notes that Pakistan has taken a number of unilateral measures including cross border shelling, arrest of refugees and closing of trade routes. We believe that these measures could lead to a human catastrophe and block avenues for negotiation and collaborative strategies providing personal security and well being of the people in both countries.
Recognising the official and nonofficial historical links for four decades SAHR strongly encourages the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan to resolve the matter through collaborative diplomatic engagement. It also urges the governments to ensure that no exceptions are made towards the perpetrators of such terror and violence on the basis of misplaced strategic considerations. Further, SAHR appeals to the two states to collaborate in formulating a joint anti-terrorism strategy and policy to eradicate terrorism and militancy and harness extremism in order to safeguard the people in the region.
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights
Dr. Nimalka Fernando