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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid