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.
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

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures. For now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid