Mourn our slaughtered children in Pakistan

SANSAD-CPPC News release, Dec 16, 2015

South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD) and Committee of Progressive Pakistani Canadians (CPPC), two organizations of the South Asian diaspora in Canada, express our profound grief and outrage at the slaughter of 132 children and sixteen teachers and staff, in a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, by the Islamist group, Tehreek-e-Taliban-i-Pakistan (TTP), on December 15.

imagesThis is the latest atrocity of the extremist organization in its campaign of violence against the people and the state of Pakistan. In its objective to capture the state of Pakistan and impose its version of Sharia, the TTP has not directed its violence merely against the military, the police, and the functionaries of the government but has killed thousands of civilians, including women and children. It has particularly attacked Shias and Sufis, destroying mosques and shrines, and killing people at their prayer. They have murdered learned clerics who challenged their ill-founded notions of Islam and have particularly attacked schools as offering an education that would expose their lack of legitimacy and authority. They have killed health workers administering life-saving Polio vaccine to children. They have sought legitimacy solely through violence, by their use of terror to impose their “order” on the people of Pakistan’s north west frontier who have been victimized by decades of wars that others have waged across their land, where the state of Pakistan has not offered adequate governance.

TTP is one of many extremist organizations spawned by imperialist wars and the proxy wars of imperialist and militarist states. They claim legitimacy through religion, though without theological authority. And they appeal to people by their opposition to imperialist violence, though they are born of it and fed by it with every death of innocent civilians as “collateral damage” in the so-called war on terror. They sustain their fraudulent claims by terror and the denial of education.

Public Meeting: Strawberry Hill Library, 7399-122nd Street, Surrey, BC, Sunday 28 December, 3.00 pm-5.00pm

In the wake of the Peshawar attack the government of Pakistan, the military, and the political parties in Pakistan have expressed their determination to end the violence that has been tormenting the people of Pakistan for many years. We hail this development. We hope that this utterance of political will is not merely an expedient response to the present national grief that dissipates against the deep structure of the Pakistan security state. We also applaud the declaration of the government of Pakistan that they will no longer make a distinction between the “good Taliban”, who do attack targets outside Pakistan and “bad Taliban”. who attack the state and people of Pakistan. Only the erasure of this difference will enable the states and peoples of South Asia to come together to effectively put an end to the purely destructive force of these enemies of the people.

In this festive season when people are engaged in celebrations of family and friendship and hoping for peace in the world, we call on the South Asian community in Metro Vancouver, people of all faiths and national origin to come together to mourn our murdered children in Peshawar. Join us in affirming that we belong to the human community in which all children are our children. Join us to make our united grief into a force for change, to create a world where people can live peacefully with all their faiths and every child is safe, has access to education, and the opportunity to fully develop their potential. Let our grief bring us to labour for peace on earth.

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