People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS)
Statement on Peshawar Massacre
PADS condemns the ghastly attack on school children in Peshawar (Pakistan) by Tehreek-e-Taliban in which over 140 innocent lives were lost. It is a plain case of murders by the people spewing venom in the name of religion and ideology with no regard for human life. PADS demands that such fundamentalist violence be dealt with firmly by the authorities in Pakistan and expresses its solidarity with the parents of the children whose lives were snatched away by the murderous gang which, only to hoodwink the people, claims to be fighting imperialism. By their act they have shown how dangerous they are for the common citizens of Pakistan.
It is also important to note that people in general in Pakistan have to stand up against all kinds of violence. There is no acceptable violence and unacceptable violence. Violence, under the illegitimate legal cover of Blasphemy Laws is being perpetrated, and celebrated in the name of religion in the country. Condoning any kind of violence against the innocent people in the name of religion, provides raison d’etre to the forces like TTP. The ghastly murders in Peshawar is a signal for the Pakistani society to look inward and work in unison to keep religion away from State to avail the benefits of the democratic rule.
The Indian school children and Parliament have shown solidarity with people of Pakistan by keeping a two minutes silence, on the suggestion of Prime Minister Modi. Such solidarity, however, should be expressed not only at the moment of grave tragedies, but should become a normal state of affairs between the two countries. The political and military leadership of the two countries should avoid aggressive rhetoric and militarisation and peacefully settle all outstanding issues.
PADS notes with the sense of urgency that the Taliban-like Hindutva forces have grown in size, influence, and impact in India orchestrating killings and triggering mass displacement of the people. PADS would like to forewarn the people of India that communalists of any religion have the same traits and ultimately, it is the members of the same community, whose interests such groups claim to espouse, become their targets. This is the time for the peoples of India and Pakistan to unite against the use of religion for committing murders of the innocent.
Issued on behalf of PADS