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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid