KARACHI, Sept 1: Over 300 Shias have been killed on sectarian grounds across the country this year alone, with Quetta and Karachi the worst affected by the menace.
“A total of 313 people of the Shia sect were killed in eight months (January to August 2012),” said Abdul Hai of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on Saturday. “Ninety-six people were targeted in Balochistan and 52 in Karachi.”
The situation in Gilgit and Parachinar is no more different with 38 and 53 killings respectively, he said.
“We have discussed the situation at length only last week,” said Senator Talha Mahmood, chairman of the Senate’s committee on interior and narcotics control. “There are multiple issues which are needed to be addressed, but in Balochistan I must say there is a serious lack of transparency in appointments of police officers on key positions.”
The Shia organisations are sounded convinced with the JUI-F Senator to some extent but find several other issues that ‘must be equally blamed for the disastrous situation.’
“Along with the security administration, the judicial process should also be blamed, which has hardly convicted any member of the banned outfits,” said spokesman for the Jafria Alliance. “The issue is not between two sects or sectarian disharmony but in fact it’s a crusade launched by the particular armed and terrorists groups against one sect.”
The frequent killings on sectarian grounds do not appear ‘natural’ to right activists and social analysts though they fear the phenomenon has somehow managed to sow fear and hatred among the people of different sectarian communities different parts of the country that only serve interests of particular groups.
“The dangerous thing is that if the situation keeps moving move in the same way, we fear it would somehow get acceptability in the society and the people would start ignoring the brutality,” said Zohra Yusuf, the chairperson of the HRCP.
“Unfortunately institusions and the people don’t realise and they need to understand that such madness and brutality would ultimately challenge the state’s survival.”