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Pakistan for swift prosecution of terrorists, days after Peshawar mosque attack kills 62

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan called for the swift prosecution of terrorists to “set an example”, days after 62 people were killed in a Shia mosque bombing last week, raising fears of the revival of large-scale sectarian violence in the country

Mar 08, 2022
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Peshawar mosque attack (Photo: Dawn)

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan called for the swift prosecution of terrorists to “set an example”, days after 62 people were killed in a Shia mosque bombing last week, raising fears of the revival of large-scale sectarian violence in the country.  On Monday, Khan chaired a high-level meeting with senior officials, including the army chief, chief ministers, and senior police officials, and stressed a multi-pronged approach and vigorous implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP). 

In January 2015, the government had approved the NAP, a plan to crack down on the growing threat of terrorism in the country, almost a month after the brutal Army School attack by the TTP in Peshwar, which killed 149 people, including 132 children in 2014. 

Last Friday's attack, one of the worst terrorist attacks in recent months, was claimed by ISIS, a group known for targeting minorities Shia Muslims. Furthermore, ISIS has increased its activities in Pakistan in recent months. 

For many, last week's attack on the Shia mosque is reminiscent of the 2014 Peshawar Army School attack. During the high-level meeting on Monday, Khan said there are certain elements trying to create sectarian disharmony in the society and the government would not allow them to succeed. 

Since the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan, violence in the country's border regions with Afghanistan has increased multifold. 

Senior officials have stressed that hundreds of insurgents belonging to the Pakistan Taliban, also known as the TTP, are enjoying sanctuaries in the border provinces of Afghanistan. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid also said that external elements are trying to destabilize Pakistani society and the government won't let that happen. 

During the meeting, officials noted that provinces needed to allocate more resources for conducting effective investigations by adopting scientific techniques and setting up modern forensic labs. The need to accord a conclusive end to terrorism cases in courts of law was emphasized. 

(SAM)

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