A history of religious violence
The killing of 13 Shia Muslims in Quetta today is a grim reminder of how intolerant Pakistan has become when it comes to religious freedom. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s report ‘State of Human Rights in 2010’, 418 people have been killed in various attacks on Muslim sects, including 211 in suicide bombing last year. Here’s a look at some of the incidents that have claimed the lives of Pakistanis over the last two decades.
12 members of a Shia family were killed during a Majlis. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ) leader Malik Ishaq was arrested but was released later due to lack of evidence.
The same year, Malik Ishaq was alleged to have bombed the Iranian culture centre in Multan. Eight people were killed. 1n 2006, Ishaq was released due to lack of evidence.
28 October, 2001
A Protestant Church was attacked in Bahawalpur, Punjab. The incident left16 dead, all Christians except one, and 6 injured.
26 February, 2002
At least 11 Shia worshipers were killed by indiscriminate firing by a group of masked gunmen at the Shah-i-Najaf Mosque in Rawalpindi.
17 March, 2002
Yet another attack on a Protestant church with in a span of six months left five persons, including a US diplomat’s wife and daughter, dead and 40 others injured.
7 May 2002
Noted religious scholar Prof Dr Ghulam Murtaza Malik, his driver and a policeman were shot dead by two gunmen in Iqbal Town, Lahore.
9 August, 2002
Four people were killed after terrorists attacked a Church located in the premises of the Taxila Christian Hospital, in Taxila, northern Punjab.
25 September, 2002
Gunmen stormed the offices of a Christian welfare organisation in Karachi, tied seven office workers to their chairs before shooting each in the head at close range.
25 December, 2002
An attack on the Presbyterian Church in Daska, near Sialkot left three young girls dead.
8 June, 2003
11 Pakistani police trainees were shot dead in what is believed to have been a sectarian attack on Sariab Road, Quetta, as they all belonged to Hazara Shi’a branch of Islam. Another nine were reported wounded.
June 8, 2003
12 Shia Hazara police cadets were gun downed in Quetta. LJ claimed responsibility of the attack.
4 July, 2003
At least 47 people were killed and 150 injured in an attack on an Imambargah in Quetta.
28 February, 2004
An apparent suicide bomber was killed and three worshipers were injured in an attack on Imambargah in Satellite Town, Rawalpindi.
March 2, 2004
42 persons were killed and more than 100 wounded when a procession of the Shia Muslims was attacked in Liaquat Bazaar in Quetta.
7 May, 2004
A suicide bomber attacked an Imambargah in Karachi, killing at least 15 worshipers. More than 100 people were also injured, 25 of them critically in the attack.
14 May, 2004
Six members of Shia family were killed in Lahore.
30 May, 2004
A senior Deobandi religious scholar and head of Islamic religious school Jamia Binoria, Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, was gunned down in his car while leaving his home in Karachi.
31 May, 2004
A suicide bomber blew up the Imambarghah Ali Raza mosque in Karachi in the middle of evening prayers, killing 16 worshipers and injuring 35. Two people were killed in riots over the mosque attack and Shamzai’s assassination.
8 August, 2004
Eight people were killed and over 40 others injured when two bombs exploded in quick succession near the Jamia Binoria Madressah, Karachi.
21 September, 2004
Three members of Shia family were gunned down in Dera Ismail Khan. It was alleged Sipah-e-Sahaba members were involved in the killings.
1 October, 2004
A suicide bombing left 25 people dead and dozen injured at an Imambargah in Sialkot.
7 October, 2004
A bomb blast left 40 people dead and wounded over 100 during a Sunni (Deobandi) rally to commemorate Maulana Azam Tariq, assassinated leader of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, in Multan.
10 October, 2004
A suicide bombing at an Imambargah in Lahore killed four people and left eight others injured.
8 January, 2005
At least 10 people have been killed in sectarian violence in the northern Pakistani city of Gilgit.
19 March, 2005
At least 35 people were killed and many injured when a Sipah-e-Sahaba terrorist exploded himself at the shrine of Pir Rakhel Shah in remote village of Fatehpur in Jhal Magsi District, Balochistan. The dead included Shia and Deobandi devotees.
27 May, 2005
20 people were slaughtered and 82 wounded due to a suicide bombing at the annual Shia Muslims congregation at the shrine of Bari Imam in Islamabad.
31 May, 2005
Six bodies were recovered from a KFC outlet set ablaze by an angry mob after an attack on a Shia mosque in Karachi. It was retaliation to the suicide attack on the Shia mosque in central Karachi where five people were killed and about 20 others wounded.
7 October, 2005
Eight members of the Ahmadiyya faith were killed inside a place of worship in Mandi Bahauddin, Punjab, Pakistan.
11 April, 2006
Over 50 people, including Sunni (Barelvi) scholars, were killed in a bomb explosion at a religious gathering on 12 Rabi-ul-Awal in Nishtar Park, Karachi.
20 February, 2009
At least 28 people were killed and more than 65 injured when a suicide bomber attacked a funeral procession in Dera Ismail Khan.
April 5, 2009
A suicide bomber detonated outside the entrance of an Imambargah in Chakwal, in Punjab province. 24 people were killed in the attack.
August 1, 2009
Seven Christians were burned alive in Gojra, Punjab. Known as the Gojra riots, the attack saw the Christian community leave town, fearing for their lives.
December 28, 2009
40 Shias were killed in an apparent suicide bombing in Karachi. The bomber attacked a Shia procession which was held to mark Ashura.
28 May 2010
86 people were killed and more than 120 were injured in nearly simultaneous attacks against two places of worship of the minority Ahmadiya community. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attacks.
September 1, 2010
In Lahore at least 35 Shias were killed and 160 unknown people injured during a procession.
September 3, 2010
Attack on a rally in Quetta killed around 53 people during another procession calling for solidarity with Palestinians.
The same day an attack on an Ahmedi place of worship left one dead in Mardan.
December 9, 2010
Abu Mansoor, ‘commander’ of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi Al Almi of Hangu, Kohat and Orakzai and Kurram Agencies, and claimed the responsibility for the blast.
December 13, 2010
January 25, 2011
Two suicide blasts targeted Shia processions in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore as well as the major southern port city of Karachi. Fifteen people were killed in the attacks.
6 May, 2011
Six members of the Hazara Shia community were gunned down in Quetta, the responsibility of which was taken by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ).
18 May, 2011
7 Shias were gunned down in Quetta, once again LJ claimed responsibility.
September 20, 2011
Gunmen shot dead 29 Pakistani Shia pilgrims travelling to Iran. In a brutal assault, gunmen ordered pilgrims off their bus, lined them up and assassinated them in a hail of gunfire in Mastung.