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Christians condemn extrajudicial killings

Criticism for handling of case of five Chechen nationals suspected of terrorism

Christians condemn extrajudicial killings
A NATO truck burnt by Taliban militants in northern Pakistan last year reporter, Quetta

July 4, 2011

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Church workers have criticized local security forces for the killing of foreigners in the restive vicariate, where five Chechen nationals suspected of terrorist activities were killed earlier this year. “We condemn the inhuman killing of Chechens. The incident requires transparent investigation. The worsening condition of law and order has already alienated local residents from the government,” said a local priest who asked not to be named. In May, members of the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) and Quetta police killed the five Chechens, who were suspected of being terrorists. In its investigative report, the judicial tribunal slammed security officers “for resorting to massacre” and showing incompetence and a lack of planning in handling the investigation. “Due to the callous stupidity of the police and FC personnel, the entire terrorist network remains shrouded in mystery,” the report stated. Fahim Javed, a local Caritas worker, said that expressing one’s opinion could be a death sentence. “Continual attacks obstruct our daily lives and destroy our education system. We have been living in a state of emergency for decades,” he said. The increasing incidents of violence have also affected Church activities. “A Filipino missionary priest survived a gun-shot wound last year. We have to arrange high security while organizing religious programs amid such violence,” the local priest said. A Sri Lankan bishop and 13 priests, three of them foreigners, are currently heading the mission in the apostolic vicariate which is home to 30,518 Catholics, mostly living in Quetta. According to a 2010 report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 418 people were killed in religious or ethnic attacks, including 211 in suicide bombings last year in the province, which has a tense relationship with the government over issues of provincial autonomy and control of mineral resources and exploration, and a consequent sense of deprivation.
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