News / Asia

Violence Threatens New Pakistani Government

Pakistani man helps injured boy at site of car bombing on outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, June 30, 2013.
Pakistani man helps injured boy at site of car bombing on outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, June 30, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Ayaz Gul
— Authorities in Pakistan say the death toll from Sunday’s several bombings across the country has risen to more than 50.   There were more deaths Monday when gunmen shot two policemen in Peshawar in the country's northwest.

There is growing shock and outrage in Pakistan over the violence, as nearly 300 people have died during the month of June alone. 

The deadliest attack Sunday occurred in the southwestern city of Quetta where a suicide bomber struck evening prayers at a mosque for Shiite Muslims.  There were nine women and several children among at least 30 killed in that blast, while dozens more were wounded.

Several massive bombings have targeted the minority Hazara community in Quetta since the beginning of the year.  An outlawed Pakistani Sunni militant group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, has claimed responsibility for the massacres.

Other attacks took place in the northwestern city of Peshawar and in North Waziristan, which is one of the adjoining volatile tribal districts.  Those bombs targeted Pakistani security forces, but civilians were among the victims.  Local militants linked to the extremist Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan are mostly behind the violence in that part of the country.

Militant, sectarian and ethnic-related violence has claimed thousands of lives in Pakistan in recent years.  Critics like former law minister Ahmer Bilal Soofi said that lack of effective policy and reforms in the legal framework are to be blamed.

“There is a heavy reliance in Pakistan on witnesses. Witness has to see the occurrence.  He has to be available on the crime scene and then he has to be saying the same thing in the court, which hardly happens," Soofi explained. " I mean normally witnesses run away if they are finally available there is a serious issue of witness protection.  No one wants to come and depose against non-state actor or for that matter a terrorist of any descent standing.  And as a consequence, there is nothing on the trial and there is no material for the judge to rely upon.”

Pakistani newspaper editorials and human rights groups on Monday criticized the national security and intelligence agencies for their “incapacity to arrest and tackle the terror networks”.  A Human Rights Commission of Pakistan statement demanded appropriate counter-measures in light of “the fact that weapons large and small, including explosives and bomb-making skills, are so easily available all over the country".  

Pakistan’s newly-elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has promised to devise a new security policy to deal with the threat of terrorism, a major reason for the troubled national economy and declining foreign investment in the country.

The latest violence occurred on a day when Sharif was holding talks with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron.  Speaking together with the British counterpart, the Pakistani prime minister told reporters his government is determined to root out terrorism and extremism.

“We are convinced that terrorism is a common threat and a huge global challenge," Sharif said.  "Pakistan has suffered the most in terms of human and financial losses.  We are, therefore, resolved to tackle the menace of extremism and terrorism with renewed vigor and close cooperation with our friends.”

In an unprecedented attack in late June, suspected militants killed 10 foreign mountain climbers in northern Pakistan at a base camp of Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world.  Chinese and Ukrainians were among the victims.  

Some officials blame their country’s cooperation in the U.S.-led anti-terrorism war in neighboring Afghanistan for the rise in extremist violence.  But critics cite links between Pakistani intelligence agencies and Islamist groups fighting alongside Afghan insurgents, and militants fighting in India in the disputed Kashmir region.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dr. Malek Towghi/Tauqee from: US
July 01, 2013 12:08 PM
Unless the armed forces, the FC and the intelligence agencies are fully under the control of the elected civilian governments in Islamabad and provinces there will be no peace and security in Pakistan.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid