Khurshid accuses govt of ignoring attack ISLAMABAD: Accusing the government of turning a blind eye to last week’s terrorist attack on a mosque in Mohmand Agency, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khurshid Ahmed Shah criticised the rulers on Sunday for what he called their failure to implement the National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism.
“Despite having reservations, the opposition supported the government over NAP and it will continue to support every action against the terrorists in future, but time has come for the government to take some practical steps to curb the menace of terrorism in the country,” Mr Shah said in a statement issued by his Parliament House office.
Mr Shah said NAP’s main purpose was to completely eliminate the menace of terrorism, but the government had “completely failed” in its implementation. He assured the government that the opposition would not do politics on the issue of terrorism.
Opposition leader calls for implementation of NAP
A suicide bomber attacked the mosque in Mohmand’s Payee Khan village during Friday prayers, leaving at least 35 worshipers dead and over 30 injured. Several children were also among the dead or wounded.
Jamaatul Ahrar, an offshoot of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the bombing and said the target were members of pro-government tribal lashkars. The organisation had also claimed responsibility for the Sept 2 attack on a court in Mardan, which left at least 14 people dead and 50 others injured. The group also said it was behind the Aug 8 attack on lawyers in Quetta, which killed 73 people, as well as the Lahore Easter bombing that left 75 dead in what was the deadliest attack to hit the country this year.
Terming the mosque attack a “huge tragedy”, Mr Shah said the incident could not be ignored simply because it had occurred in a far-flung area.
Politicians and rights activists have also been raising their voice against the mainstream electronic media for ignoring the mosque attack. Instead of providing updates on the attack, it ran non-stop reports about the arrest of MQM leader Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan in Karachi.
Only two Peshawar-based Pashto TV channels reportedly telecast complete details of the mosque attack.
Mr Shah said the opposition would not let the government ignore such a huge national tragedy, adding that the attack on the innocent worshippers was a clear proof that terrorists had nothing to do with Islam. In fact, they were fulfilling the agenda of anti-Pakistan forces, he added.
He regretted that by dividing terrorists into “good and bad Taliban” the “hidden hands” were strengthened while the opposition’s true stance on the issue of terrorism was put on the back burner. “Now time has come to put chains on the hidden hands.”
Mr Shah asked the government to take the Mohmand incident seriously and provide full help and support to the victims of the attack. He said he would soon visit the area to condole with the relatives of those killed in the attack and enquire after the health of the injured.