Christians, Sikhs, Hindus and other minorities throughout Pakistan recount numerous horrific incidents of attacks and threats and express an overwhelming sense of fear. Minority Rights Group International, a watchdog organization, had ranked Pakistan as ‘the world’s top country for major increases in threats to minorities since 2007’. The group also lists Pakistan as seventh on the list of 10 most dangerous countries for minorities, after Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar and Congo.


Religious minorities are believed to be much more than the estimated figures of 5 percent of Pakistan’s 160 million population as Christians alone represent 5 to 6 percent of the population. However, Pakistani census intentionally keeps minority figures low to deny them greater representation. The unabated killings and persecution of religious minorities and smaller sects of Islam raise questions about Pakistan’s regressive direction. Ironically, much of Pakistan appears oblivious to the cancerous sectarianism that is consuming a society that seemed tolerant until the 1970s. The audacity of the killers and state inaction are even more worrying.


Shias Under Attack

120 killed and over 200 injured in Quetta triple bombing which targeted Minority Hazara Shias
(10 January, 2013: Quetta, Pakistan)

January 10, 2013, turned out to be a nightmarish day for the people of Quetta when the city was rocked by three bombings that killed at least 120 people and injured over 200. Most of the dead and injured belonged to the Hazrara Shia community. The first explosion took place at the Bacha Khan Chowk in the afternoon. The deadly twin blasts that rocked Alamdar Road a little later resulted in the death of as many as 70 people on the spot, most of them being Hazrara Shias. DSP Mujahid Hussain, SHO Zafar Ali, Samaa cameraman Imran Sheikh, a reporter of the same channel, Saifur Rehman, and four Edhi volunteers were among those killed. The last bombing of the day was the most powerful ever to hit the city.

The attack was the latest in the systematic genocide of minority Shia Muslims in Pakistan by Sunni-Muslim extremists who consider the Shias as infidels, and thus worthy of death. Relatives of the victims held vigils by the coffins of their loved ones on Quetta’s streets for four nights, demanding for their protection from the Sunni majority, before agreeing to bury their dead after one of the bloodiest attacks on their community.

Attack on Sufi Muslim shrine claims 42

Two suicide blasts killed 42 individuals and injured 100 more outside the holy shrine of Syed Ahmad Sakhi Sarwar, Pakistan’s most important Sufi Muslim shrines in the remote town of Sakhi Sarwar, 35 kilometres from Dera Ghazi Khan city, while they were busy in celebrating the anniversary of its founder’s death with music, meditation and other practices abhorred by Islamist militant groups.

Pakistan minister Shahbaz Bhatti shot dead in Islamabad

Gunmen shot dead Pakistan’s minorities minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, an advocate of reform of the country’s blasphemy laws, outside his Islamabad home. Two assassins sprayed the Christian minister’s car with gunfire, striking him at least eight times, before scattering pamphlets that described him as a “Christian infidel” – a brutal sign of rising intolerance at the hands of violent extremists.

Blasphemy Law Claims Another Victim

Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab province of Pakistan was assassinated on January 4, 2011, by his bodyguard, a member of the elite security force responsible for guarding the Governor. This act of cowardice is an attempt to subdue with ruthless violence the sane voices of moderate leaders and to intimidate politicians from supporting secularism as Taseer was supporting the review of the Blasphemy laws in Pakistan.

Protecting Minorities

Here’s Why The Minorities Need Protection In Pakistan