Kabul girls’ school bombing death toll climbs to 64: Pakistani civil society stands in solidarity with Afghan Hazara women, girls

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ISLAMABAD (ENNS/MD) Members of civil society have strongly condemned the barbaric attack on a Hazara Shia girls’ school in Dasht-e-Barchi, Kabul, killing 64 and critically wounding over 150.

This is an evil, inhuman act, whether in Ramazan or at any other time – but believing devout Muslims are supposed to venerate Ramazan as being holy, sacred, and free of violent extremist militancy. Shame and laanat on the cold-blooded Muslim killers.

Do political power-hungry groups like Tehreek-e-Taliban, Daaish and their associates, have the temerity to call themselves Muslims? They could not be further in the gravest error.

Islam does not permit the shedding of one drop of blood of non-combatant civilians, especially women and children, condemning the killing of one innocent human being as “the killing of all humanity” (irrespective of religion, sect, sex, age, ethnicity, race or citizenship).

This is as profound a moment for serious reflection as was the TTP attack on the Peshawar Army Public School in December 2014.

We call upon all those in Afghanistan, Pakistan, USA, and all other international powers involved in the so-called “Afghan Peace Process” (sic) to ponder upon the terms of their engagement with outfits they simultaneously consider to be both “good” and “bad”; to be fought against, but also to be used as “assets” for strategic depth, where and when required.

Are the lives of half the population, comprising women, girls, trans-persons, considered to be of no value at all, in any political-military strategic equation? Are they simply fodder in the Great Game? Our response is a resounding NO.

We are standing up to be counted – we must be heard and listened to. We continue to stand in total solidarity with our long-suffering Afghan sisters and the beleaguered Hazara community in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It is pertinent to note that more than 64 people, mostly girls, had died in the attack that hit students as they left class. No-one has admitted carrying out the attack in Dasht-e-Barchi, an area often hit by Sunni Islamist militants.

The Afghan government blamed Taliban militants for the attack, but the group denied involvement. The exact target for Saturday’s bloodshed is unclear. The blasts come against a backdrop of rising violence as the US looks to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by 11 September.

The neighbourhood in western Kabul where the blasts occurred is home to many from the Hazara minority community, who are of Mongolian and Central Asian descent and are mainly Shia Muslims.

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