Appeasement of non-state actors sends dangerous message, says Shireen Mazari


–Human rights minister says state’s duty to stand by its institutions, especially when they are targeted

ISLAMABAD: Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari on Sunday said that appeasement of non-state actors undermines principles of democratic peaceful protest and sends a dangerous message.

She claimed that history shows that appeasement never works under such circumstances. She was talking in reference to protests against the Supreme Court’s verdict of acquitting Aasia Bibi.

“Appeasement to ‘avoid bloodshed’ sends a dangerous msg to non-state actors & undermines the very concept of democratic peaceful protest. The State has to enforce Rule of Law, Constitution & stand by state institutions esp when they are targeted,” she tweeted.

“.. and despite sceptics & beyond despondency I trust PM Khan to deliver on his commitment to Rule of Law, Constitution & defence of state institutions as well as to human rights guaranteed in Constitution – not just in present situation but also on issues like Enforced Disappearances,” she added.


Widespread protests had erupted in the major cities after the Supreme Court on Wednesday acquitted Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman on death row since 2010 when she was convicted on blasphemy charges. The protests paralysed routine life in parts of the country and caused severe road blockages in major cities, resulting in severe mobility issues for citizens.

Despite PM Khan’s stern warning to agitators against challenging the state earlier in the week, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government reached a five-point agreement with the TLP late Friday night to end the protests.

According to the five-point agreement, the government would not object to the review petition filed against Aasia Bibi’s acquittal by the top court and the legal process to place her name on the Exit Control List (ECL) would be initiated immediately. Also, the deaths (if any) which took place during the course of protests, would be investigated as per law and the government would release all protestors arrested since October 30. Moreover, TLP also apologised for the inconveniences caused because of the protests.

However, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday called the agreement between the federal government and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) “firefighting”, admitting that it is “not a cure to malady of extremism”.

On Saturday, TLP chief Khadim Rizvi and senior leader Pir Afzal Qadri were among 500 others who were booked on charges of rioting and disrupting peace.