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

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs