By Michael Lashley
The shock we feel on learning of the horrible violence visited on the adults and children in a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, cannot be properly addressed in this commentary.
I have therefore changed my format to try to reflect these emotionally charged circumstances and to honour the memory of those who perished and to empathize with those who were wounded and with the many communities which have been severely traumatized.
Several international actions are required, among them:
The UN Security Council is to launch a plan of action after meeting in an emergency session to discuss the relevant political, military and humanitarian issues.
Pakistan’s sovereign rights are to be given high priority in the elaboration and implementation of the plan of action.
Physical intervention by the international community, in cooperation with the government of Pakistan, is to be a key component of a medium-term international presence in Pakistan, based on the principles of international law and the international duty to protect communities in danger.
The International Criminal Court is to initiate the identification, detention and prosecution of the perpetrators of the campaign of which these violent attacks form a significant part.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, herself the survivor of an attack on her school, condemned the Taliban for their cowardly attach and told the world: “I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold-blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us …”
“Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this. I condemn these atrocious and cowardly acts and stand united with the government and armed forces of Pakistan whose efforts so far to address this horrific event are commendable.”