Deter attacks on Shias, Pakistan told

New York, Nov 12 (IANS) The Pakistani government should urgently act to prevent deadly sectarian attacks on Shia Muslims that escalate during the Muslim holy month of Moharram, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

Nov 12 2013, 3:22am CST | by IANS

New York, Nov 12 — The Pakistani government should urgently act to prevent deadly sectarian attacks on Shia Muslims that escalate during the Muslim holy month of Moharram, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

In recent years, Sunni extremist groups affiliated with the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Pakistan have claimed responsibility for attacks that have killed dozens of Shias during Moharram, particularly on Shia processions marking Ashura, the 10th day of Moharram, which in 2013 falls on Nov 15.

"Pakistan's besieged Shia citizens should be able to participate in Ashura processions without fear of predictable attack while the government just looks on," said Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at Human Rights Watch.

"The Pakistani authorities need to put all necessary security measures in place to protect the Shia population. Arresting extremist group members responsible for past attacks would be an important first step."

Sunni extremist groups have attacked Ashura processions in Pakistan for the last several years, Human Rights Watch said.

In the days before Ashura in 2012, some 30 people were killed and at least 100 were wounded in five attacks. This deadly campaign culminated in a suicide bombing in the northwestern city of Dera Ismail Khan that targeted the Ashura procession, killing at least five people and wounding more than 90 others.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for all of these attacks.

The Pakistani Taliban and its affiliates such as the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi have conducted unprecedented attacks in 2013 on the country's Muslim and non-Muslim religious minorities, claiming responsibility for most major bombings and vowing further violence.

More than 800 Shias have been killed in targeted attacks in Pakistan since 2012, including about 400 so far this year.

In the first days of November alone, at least 15 Shia have been killed in several targeted attacks across Pakistan.

Sunni militant groups such as the banned Lashkar-e Jhangvi have historically had links to the Pakistani military and its intelligence agencies.

While the military denies any ongoing links to such groups, Lashkar-e Jhangvi continues to operate with impunity even in areas where state authority is well established such as Punjab province and Karachi.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
 
 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

School headmaster shot dead in Pakistan
Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) Unidentified gunmen Thursday killed the headmaster of a private school in Pakistan's Balochistan province.
 
 
Four more bodies recovered from sunken South Korean ship
Seoul, Dec 4 (IANS) Four more bodies were recovered Thursday from a sunken South Korean fishing ship in the Bering Sea, the foreign ministry here said.
 
 
Lesbian couple asked to desist in London restaurant
London, Dec 4 (IANS) A lesbian couple in a London restaurant was asked to desist by a staff member, who asked them to "stop what you are doing".
 
 
Oxford Dictionaries to add 1,000 new words
London, Dec 4 (IANS) 'Mamil' (middle-aged man in Lycra), 'silvertail' (a person who is socially prominent or who displays social aspirations) and 'crony capitalism' are among the 1,000 new words to be added to OxfordDictionaries.com, the free online dictionary, in its largest quarterly update so far.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Australian researcher discovers first artwork by early human
Sydney, Dec 4 (IANS) An Australian researcher has discovered what is believed to be the first artwork created by a human. The simple zigzag pattern found on a fossilized shell from the Indonesian island of Java has...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Insects compete with rats to clear garbage
New York, Dec 4 (IANS) Insects play a very important role in cleaning up cities and they compete with other pests like rats and pigeons in their endeavour, a study has said. Scientists sampled arthropods - such as...
Read more on Business Balla
 
School headmaster shot dead in Pakistan
Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) Unidentified gunmen Thursday killed the headmaster of a private school in Pakistan's Balochistan province. Police officials said the armed men opened fire at the vehicle of Zahid Ali,...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Four more bodies recovered from sunken South Korean ship
Seoul, Dec 4 (IANS) Four more bodies were recovered Thursday from a sunken South Korean fishing ship in the Bering Sea, the foreign ministry here said. This increased the toll to 16, including six South Koreans and 10...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Lesbian couple asked to desist in London restaurant
London, Dec 4 (IANS) A lesbian couple in a London restaurant was asked to desist by a staff member, who asked them to "stop what you are doing". Lydia Cawson, 29, said that she and her girlfriend were asked by a staff...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Oxford Dictionaries to add 1,000 new words
London, Dec 4 (IANS) 'Mamil' (middle-aged man in Lycra), 'silvertail' (a person who is socially prominent or who displays social aspirations) and 'crony capitalism' are among the 1,000 new words to be added to...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Oceans play key role in global 'warming hiatus'
London, Dec 4 (IANS) Increased heat uptake across three oceans - North Atlantic, the Southern Ocean and Equatorial Pacific Ocean - is the likely cause of the 'warming hiatus' -- the current decade-long slowdown in...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Novel imaging to identify if TB drugs are working
Washington, Dec 4 (IANS) Tuberculosis patients who are not cured of the infection can develop multi-drug resistant TB and have to take as many as six drugs for two years. Now, researchers at University of Pittsburgh...
Read more on Business Balla
 
PM makes first appointment to High Court of Australia
Canberra, Dec 4 (IANS) Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government Thursday appointed former Victorian Supreme Court judge Geoffrey Nettle as the next Justice of the High Court of Australia. Attorney General George...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
18 suspected militants killed in Pakistan airstrikes
Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) At least 18 suspected militants were killed Thursday in airstrikes conducted by Pakistan Air Force fighter jets in North Waziristan. According to officials, the airstrikes were conducted in...
Read more on Politics Balla