ARTICLES

EOPM reiterates that the real threat to the Pakistan’s social fabric comes from the ideology of hate propagated freely by religious extremists. Pakistan is a weak state; sectarianism makes it weaker still. After successfully banishing Hindus, Christians and Ahmadis from mainstream society, it is now the turn of the Shias.

Sectarian clashes have killed thousands of Pakistanis since 1979, as the theological differences between Shia and Sunni Muslims have been transformed into a fullblown war. Pakistan’s first encounter with sectarianism occurred in 1950 in Hyderabad during Muharram. The first organised agitation that engulfed the country was the movement against the Ahmadi community in 1953 led by the Jamaat Islami and Majlis Khatm-e-Nabuwwat, a Sunni vigilante group. In the 1980s, an impotent Pakistani state has essentially allowed the Wahabbi Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran to fight a shadow war in its territory. But from 1990 onwards, the tide has turned against the Shias, as Sunni radical thugs wage jihad outside and sectarian battles inside.

In the last 15 years or so, it looked as if a religious cleansing in slow motion — of ridding the country of Shias — is in progress. But then, “HATE IDEOLOGY” has been pretty obvious in Pakistan’s history, and inventing “ENEMIES OF THE FAITH” is but another excuse for secterian killing.

March 12, 2012, Peshawar, Pakistan: Sectarian attack kills two more in Pakistan:

A remote-controlled bomb ripped through a passenger van in northwestern Pakistan, killing two people and wounding 20 others, including five women and four children, in a suspected sectarian attack, officials said. The vehicle was on its way from Peshawar to the Shiite-dominated area of Parachinar when the bomb exploded near Sadda town in the tribal region of Kurram, senior administration official Mohammad Anis said. The victims were from the minority Shiite Muslim community and belonged to three families who had jointly hired the vehicle to travel to Parachinar.

February 28, 2012, Kohistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan: Pakistan sectarian bus attack in Kohistan kills 18:

Gunmen killed at least 18 Shia Muslim bus passengers in a sectarian attack in the northern Pakistani district of Kohistan. The attack took place close to the remote and mountainous area of Harban Nala, approximately 130 miles (208 km) north of the capital, Islamabad. Armed men wearing military fatigues hiding on both sides of the road attacked four buses, which were travelling in a convoy from the city of Rawalpindi to the northern town of Gilgit. The attackers are reported to have checked the identity cards of all the passengers before separating out the Shias and shooting them in cold blood. About 27 other passengers who were also on the bus were spared.

February 18, 2012, Faisalabad, Pakistan: Sectarian attack kills at least 26 in Parachinar, northern Pakistan:

An explosion in northern Pakistan has killed at least 26, in an apparent sectarian attack staged by the Taliban. The bomb was detonated in a busy market in a Shia neighborhood in the city of Parachinar. Scores of victims were severely injured and admitted in the local hospital in a serious condition. Accounts of the attack vary, with some claiming that it was carried out by a suicide bomber, while others blame a car containing explosives. Fazal Saeed, leader of a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, has claimed responsibility. “We have targeted the Shia community of Parachinar because they were involved in activities against us,” he told the Reuters news agency by telephone from an undisclosed location.

January 25, 2012, Karachi, Pakistan: 3 lawyers killed in Karachi sectarian attack:

Three lawyers were shot dead and a fourth was wounded in what appeared to be a targeted sectarian attack. Gunmen sprayed the lawyers’ car with bullets on Maulana Din Mohammad Wafai Road near Pakistan Chowk when they were going home from the City Courts. One of the deceased was a senior lawyer and the others his son and nephew. Four men on two motorcycles carried out the attack at around 3:06 pm. They intercepted the car and two pillion-riders got down and opened fire. According to police, the three advocates, Badar Munir Jafri, 65, his son Gohar Shakil Jafri, 34, and nephew Kafil Ahmed Jafri, were members of the legal aid committee of the Shia Lawyers Forum.

Karachi Attack on 3 lawyers – January, 2012

January 15, 2012, Khanpur, Pakistan: 17 people killed in Sectarian attack in Khanpur, Pakistan:

A bomb in Khanpur, a town in the southern part of the province, Punjab, killed Shiite worshipers as they streamed out of a mosque after a religious ceremony. The victims were engaged in a ceremony commemorating the 40th day after the death anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Imam Hussein, a highly revered figure in Shiite Islam. The local police chief, Sohail Zaffar Chatta, said that the device appeared to have been detonated by remote control. The gruesome scenes in a quiet provincial town were graphic reminders of the extremist violence that continues to plague Pakistan as the country’s military and political leaders engage in an acrimonious struggle in the capital, Islamabad.

September 21, 2011, Mastung, Pakistan: 26 Shia pilgrims killed in Mastung sectarian attack:

Twenty-six pilgrims going to Iran were shot dead in cold blood and eight others were injured in Mastung. 3 other people who were going in an ambulance to bring the injured to a hospital in Quetta were also killed. The pilgrims were on their way to the border town of Taftan in a bus when armed men intercepted them, entered the vehicle, ordered them to disembark, lined them up and opened fire on them after checking their identity cards. Most of the dead and injured belonged to the Hazara tribe. The assailants used weapons of different calibres, including TT pistols, AK-47 rifles and 9mm pistols. They were also carrying rocket-launchers and Kalashnikovs.

August 31, 2011, Quetta, Pakistan: 11 people killed and 22 wounded in Quetta car park blast next to mosque in Shiite Muslim area:

A suicide car bomb killed at least 11 people and wounded 22 others who were celebrating Eid in a Shiite Muslim area of the restive southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta. The bomb exploded in a car park next to a mosque where prayers marking the festival of Eid al-Fitr were taking place. The death toll was 11, including two women and a seven-year-old boy. Remains of a badly mutilated body were found in the car. It appears that the bomber had planted the bombs in the car, which detonated when he could not go beyond the parking lot. Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, of which Quetta is the capital, has seen a recent surge in violence linked to sectarian clashes.

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