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

Official: S. Sudan President, Rebel Leader to Meet in Tanzania

Talks part of effort to end conflict in country that has left more than 10,000 people dead, displaced more than 1.5 million others More

Dutch Deny Link to Mystery Submarine off Sweden

Netherlands denies Russian claim that 'foreign vessel' photographed in waters off Sweden could be Dutch More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles 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.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid