HRCP: Majority of Sectarian Attacks in Pakistan are on Shia

State of Human Rights in 2012 (Human Rights Commission of Pakistan)
State of Human Rights in 2012 (Human Rights Commission of Pakistan)

Following excerpts were taken from Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s State of Human Rights in 2012 Report

The Hazaras of Balochistan, an ethnically distinct group that is almost exclusively Shia, have suffered repeated massacres over the last decade and a half only because of their belief. They have been targeted much more frequently than even the other Shias in Quetta and its surroundings. That is because the Hazaras are easily recognisable on account of their distinct features. As many as 119 Hazaras were killed in targeted attacks in Quetta and its peripheries in 2012. An HRCP fact-finding mission that visited Balochistan from May 15 to 19 in order to assess the situation of human rights in the province met with members of the Hazara community. They believed that if the authorities wanted to protect them the state had the capacity to do so.

In June, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi terrorists attacked a bus of Balochistan IT University carrying Hazara students, killing five of them. The frequency of Desperate to leave the deathtrap. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion 102 attacks on the Hazaras was such that non-Hazara students of the university stated their unwillingness to share a bus with the Hazaras for fear of being targeted. Persecuted for their belief, the Hazaras of Quetta have retreated to just two localities of the city for the sake of safety. The two localities have been increasingly attacked in recent years, often with dozens of casualties.

Although the Hazaras of Quetta were the most frequently targeted segment of Shia population, they certainly were not the only one. In February, 18 Shia Muslims were killed in Chilas whilst on their way to Gilgit Baltistan from Rawalpindi.

In April, a mob dragged nine Shia Muslims from buses and shot them dead in the town of Chilas.

In August, 25 Shia Muslims were killed in an attack on a bus en route to Gilgit Baltistan in Mansehra district. The killers asked the passengers for their identity cards and executed those that they concluded were Shias.

In September, a car bomb explosion in a crowded market in Parachinar, in FATA’s Kurram Agency, killed 12 Shias.

In November, a suicide attack near an Imambargah in Rawalpindi killed 12 people. Another 36 were injured.

According to monitoring of media reports by HRCP, at least 531 people were killed in 199 sectarian-related terrorist attacks against Muslim sects, mainly Shias. Out of these, 78 people were killed in three suicide bombings.

No part of Pakistan was spared in the senseless spilling of blood on the basis of sectarian belief. As many as 159 people were killed in 95 attacks in Karachi (Sindh), most of whom were professionals; 130 in 51 attacks in Quetta and 31 in five attacks in Mastung (Balochistan); 22 in one attack in Rahimyar Khan and 23 in one attack in Rawalpindi (Punjab); 19 each in two separate attacks in Kohistan and Mansehra districts (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa); 65 in nine attacks in Kurram Agency and 13 in one attack in Orakzai (FATA); and 10 in 18 attacks in Gilgit and nine in one attack in Diamer (Gilgit Baltistan). The casualties occurred in drive-by targeted killings, incidents of multiple execution-style killings of Shia men travelling in vans and buses, suicide bombings and bomb and grenade explosions. The attackers targeted mosques, imambargahs, madrassas, students and teachers of seminaries, as well as religious gatherings, and often anyone subscribing to a particular sect.

The Pak Institute for Peace Studies, an Islamabad-based NGO conducting research on different aspects of conflict, counted 563 fatalities and 853 people injured in 213 incidents of sectarian-related terrorist attacks and sectarian clashes. It noted that 85 percent of the overall reported incidents of sectarian violence in 2012 were concentrated in Karachi, Quetta, Gilgit and Kurram Agency.

HRCP publicly and repeatedly expressed its outrage over recurring sectarian bloodshed throughout the year. It reiterated that sympathetic attitudes towards religious extremism in all institutions of the state were responsible for the failure to confront the menace of sectarian terrorism. The commission stated State of Human Rights in 2012 103 that police actions that followed brazen targeting of religious events in particular stood little chance of stemming the tide of sectarian bloodletting so long as only the symptoms of the malaise were paid attention to and the cause was left unaddressed.

One thought on “HRCP: Majority of Sectarian Attacks in Pakistan are on Shia

  • August 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm
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    The response of all governments of Pakistan has been very poor to the core problem created by terrorists in the country . Judiciary has also proved to be helpless to punish this evil imported element. Responsible individuals and organizations has been partial too. Religious parties have been silent supporters of terrorists . Theses parties never showed their sympathy towards the victim families ever. How theses groups and parties can claim to be representatives of public. Majority of them following the agenda of Saudi regime who has been lavishly spend millions of dollars all over the world to spread Wahabism. International human rights groups are deliberately paying deaf ear to the global problem. Shias as well as Sunnis are targeted by Wahabism. Wahabism is a big threat to the world peace.

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