News / Asia

Anger Rises in Pakistan Over Killings of Shi'ite Muslims

Shi'ite Muslims display the unburied coffins of victims of Thursday's twin bomb attack during a sit-in in Quetta, January 12, 2013.
Shi'ite Muslims display the unburied coffins of victims of Thursday's twin bomb attack during a sit-in in Quetta, January 12, 2013.
Sharon Behn
Anger and frustration rose in Pakistan Saturday over bomb blasts that killed almost 100 Shi'ite Muslims, with critics saying the government is failing to protect the nation's religious minority.
 
Shi'ite families in the southwestern city of Quetta on Saturday have refused to bury their dead to protest the bomb blasts that killed almost 100 people Thursday. Sunni militants claimed responsibility for the attack.
 
One Shi'ite community leader criticized Pakistan's army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, for failing to halt the killings. Such attacks have been increasing steadily, according to Pakistan Human Rights Watch, which says more than 400 Shi'ites were killed last year.

Quetta, Pakistan mapQuetta, Pakistan map
x
Quetta, Pakistan map
Quetta, Pakistan map
Call for sympathy protests

Pakistanis anxious to reduce the violence reached out through social media Saturday, calling for sympathy protests in the capital, Islamabad, and other major cities.
 
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said in a statement the government has given the paramilitary Frontier Corps expanded powers to control violence in the province. He also promised financial compensation would go to affected families.
 
Analyst Raza Rumi said it remains to be seen if public pressure rises to a point that forces political leaders and the military to act against terrorist and militant organizations operating in Pakistan.
 
"There is no shortcut in Pakistan now for the military to act other than public pressure - intense public pressure, scrutiny and naming and shaming - because, you know, it is quite clear the military is not keen to do anything, or even the government, about these terrorist organizations," said Rumi.

Multiple explosions

The same day the explosions in Quetta targeted Shi'ites living there, another blast by the Baluch nationalist network killed 12 people, mostly security personnel. A fourth explosion in northwest Pakistan killed more than 20 Muslim missionaries.
 
The violence and subsequent criticism of the government and security forces comes as Pakistan is gearing up for national elections expected in a few months.
 
Mustafa Qadri of Amnesty International says putting an end to terrorist violence is a challenge with which any new government will have to grapple.
 
"Now it's up to the political parties to provide really concrete steps and plans for what they will do differently when in government," said Qadri. "And of course for the government right now, we still have several months before the elections, but the new government really now has this pressure on its shoulders to really do things differently and to do the reforms that are needed to stop this stuff from happening again."

Qadri said that in the past, when the state has had the will to bring perpetrators to justice and to protect victims, Pakistan has shown the capacity to do so.

  • People mourn next to the coffins of their relatives who were killed in bombings, Quetta, Pakistan, January 11, 2013.
  • People attend funeral prayers for a victim who was killed by a bomb blast, in Mingora, Swat valley, Pakistan, January 11, 2013.
  • Shi'ite Muslims hold a silent protest a day after deadly blasts in Quetta, Pakistan, January 11, 2013. (H. Samsoor/VOA)
  • Journalists hold a black flag outside the Quetta Press Club to mourn the three journalists killed in the January 10th explosions in the city, Quetta, Pakistan, January 11, 2013.
  • A paramilitary soldier frisks a man at the entrance of a mosque in Mingora, Swat valley, Pakistan a day after deadly bombings, January 11, 2013.
  • A man takes a photograph with his mobile phone of a house that was damaged by a bomb blast in Quetta, Pakistan, January 11, 2013.
  • People walk around the debris from a bomb blast in Quetta, Pakistan, January 10, 2013. (Hameed Samsor/VOA)
  • Police and residents at the site of a bomb blast in Quetta, Pakistan, January 10, 2013. (Hameed Samsor/VOA)
  • The site of bomb blast in Quetta, Pakistan, January 10, 2013. (Hameed Samsor/VOA)

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: CrygDyllyn from: USA
January 13, 2013 9:38 AM
When Pakistan and India were both founded they were about the same. Look at the difference today. Pakistan is almost a failed state while India has a booming economy, a growing middle class, and a robust civil life. In India, people of all faiths practice their faiths with no fear or hatred.

In Pakistan, Islamic hatred rules. If you are non-muslim you are in danger. If you are not the right kind of muslim you are in danger. And if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time you are in danger.

Now we read about Islamic discrimination in Aceh Indonesia. I don't think there is one Islamic country where people are happy, and allowed to live their lives. To all appearances, Islam is the religion of hate.


by: Walter Johnson
January 12, 2013 8:22 PM
Someone please tell me why there is more hostility among Islam's religious sects than among Christian denominations. In Islam it appears like a religious war inside its own home.

In Response

by: Leonard Evans from: MI
January 13, 2013 10:29 PM
Your ignorance of history is something quite astonishing! When Christians really believed they were slaughtering each other and 'infidels' with relish, as God commanded . Europe, 100 years war, Inquisition, Crusades, and so on. Today the Christian denominations believe very little that is different from what other folks believe. So what is there to fight over?

In Response

by: L
January 13, 2013 8:33 AM
Have the same Q....


by: syed naqvi from: oklahoma city
January 12, 2013 5:49 PM
This is genocide.

In Response

by: Walter Johnson
January 12, 2013 8:26 PM
The sects of Islam are not racial groups, although they may break down along tribal lines. What are you calling genocide. The level of violence has come no where need as great as in recognized genocides the international community has intervened in.


by: Anonymous
January 12, 2013 4:09 PM
Gods be with them


by: Alm757 from: dallas
January 12, 2013 2:23 PM
My condolance with families who's loved one's were forceiably removed from them. May Allah ellevate their souls in heaven and give strength to rest of the families to bear this loss, and bring justice they are looking for.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid