HRCP monitor murdered in targeted attack in Tank

LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed great sorrow over the killing of Zaman Mehsud, the HRCP monitor for South Waziristan, following a targeted attack in Tank on Tuesday.

In a statement, the commission said: “We announce with great sorrow and grief, the killing of Zaman Mehsud, a dedicated member of the HRCP family and our monitor from South Waziristan.” He was attacked in Tank this morning by as yet unidentified assailants and received multiple bullet injuries. The local hospital did not have adequate facilities to treat him and he was moved to a hospital in Dera Ismail Khan, where he expired on the operating table.

“HRCP offers sincere condolences to the bereaved family. The Commission hopes that this latest addition to our list of martyrs to the cause of human rights will not dampen the spirit of the deceased’s colleagues and will reinforce their resolve to work for the rights and dignity of all human beings with the same commitment as before.

“We call upon all authorities that have any say in this area to make every effort to catch the culprits and bring them to justice. However, we say this today out of respect for form only, because in none of the five previous fatal casualties that HRCP has suffered over the last few years have the authorities succeeded in catching the killers.

“HRCP would also like to invite the attention of civil society and the government to the possibility that Zaman Mehsud and other activists might have been rendered more vulnerable by the environment of suspicion that the state agencies have been creating with respect to civil society organisations and by attributing to them various anti-state activities.

“We urge the civil society organisations to take a serious view of the hazards to which they are exposed on account of their demonization through the government’s venomous attacks on their activities. In these difficult times, the civil society has to find ways to offer a united response and strategy for mutual survival as they strive to pursue the worthy but increasingly difficult cause of human rights in Pakistan.”