Pakistani socialists condemn Quetta terror attack

Quetta, October 24.

The statement below was released by Pakistani socialist group, the Awami Workers Party (AWP) in response to an October 24 terrorist attack that killed dozens of people in Quetta, the capital of the Balochistan province. Balochistan has long been the victim of violent attacks from both state and terrorist forces.

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The AWP expresses deep sorrow and grief over the loss of the lives of young cadets in a terrorist attack on a police training centre at Quetta. According to reports, 59 young police cadets have been killed and over 120 injured in gun and twin suicide attacks on the Police Training College. The attack was carried out by three terrorists reportedly belonging to the banned sectarian extremist group Al-Alimi faction of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an affiliate of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), on October 24.

AWP spokesperson Farooq Tariq expressed sympathy and solidarity with the families of those who lost their loved ones and those injured in the attack. He demanded that victims and their families be provided adequate state support in every aspect.

“We condemn all fascist and religious extremist forces — within and outside the state — the monster that the state has fed and fattened for decades at the cost of people’s basic rights including security,” he said.

He noted that state support and inaction against these death squads is at the root of tragedies striking Balochistan again and again.

Tariq condemned the recent meeting between religious extremist groups and interior minister Choudhry Nisar Ali Khan for withdrawal of restrictions on them. He said that this was tantamount to state support to wanted terrorists.

“AWP understands that the state and government patronage of religious extremist outfits and religio-political parties is at the root of their increasing violence and influence in social and state affairs,” Tariq said. “The recent attacks in Quetta and the hypocritical reaction of the government has reinforced their strength.”

The AWP believes that until the state and government completely abandon these forces, the terrorists will continue to hold society and democracy hostage.

Tariq said that the state’s selective action against terrorists under the National Action Plan (NAP) is evident from the fact that it is not implementable. He said the NAP was not a sufficient policy instrument to deal with the long-standing issue of terrorism and religious extremism.

Tariq called on all progressive political forces and sections of society to unite to expose and defeat all forms of fascism, state oppression, military excess and violence by religious extremists.