South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

The members of South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) express horror at the escalating attacks on civilians in Pakistan which has resulted in the death of about 300 people since mid-October 2009. Two weeks ago, the army launched its offensive in South Waziristan, the tribal territory separating Pakistan and Afghanistan that is widely regarded as a haven for the Taliban and al-Qaeda.  Since then, the militants have carried out retaliatory attacks across the country.

On 9 October, 52 people died in a suicide car bombing in a busy Peshawar market. On October 10, militants held dozens of hostages for some 22 hours inside the army headquarters in Rawalpindi. Eleven military personnel, three civilians, and nine militants were killed in the siege. On October 20, back-to-back explosions took place at Islamabad’s International Islamic University. At least six people died in the attack. Twenty-nine others were wounded. On October 28, a massive car bomb once again tore through the heart of a bustling marketplace in the north-western city of Peshawar, killing at least 100 people and injuring at least 200 others, mostly women and children. A suicide bomber detonated explosives outside a bank in Rawalpindi on 2nd November 2009 killing 35 and wounding 65. In the most recent suicide bomb attack on the 8th of November, at least 12 people have been killed, including the local anti-Taliban mayor, and about 35 injured in the city of Peshawar.

SAHR expresses deep concern and sorrow over the loss of civilian lives and also for those civilians who are caught in the crossfire.  SAHR urges the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to provide adequate security to citizens against terrorist attacks which result in destruction and human tragedy.

On behalf of South Asians for Human Rights

Dr. Hameeda Hossain

Co-Chair, SAHR

9th November 2009

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