AS two events demonstrated on Tuesday, the incoming governments will have their hands full dealing with the threat of sectarian militancy. In Peshawar, at least three people were killed when a motorcycle bomb went off in Imamia Colony, a Shia-dominated area. Though no one has claimed the attack, there are strong indications the bombing had sectarian motives. Meanwhile in Karachi, a Shia lawyer, together with his two young sons, was gunned down as the man was dropping his children to school. This is the latest in a chilling trend in which killers have targeted members of a family. Earlier this month, another Shia father and son, also lawyers, were gunned down in the same area of the metropolis.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says 69 people have been killed in sectarian attacks in Karachi between January and April. In Peshawar, over a dozen victims have fallen prey to sectarian targeted killings since the beginning of the year; KP police have failed to make a breakthrough in any of these cases. The range of the threat shows that efforts are required at both the provincial and national levels to counter sectarian militancy. Clamping down on such violence will be a formidable challenge for the PTI-led KP government. Imran Khan has criticised groups like Lashkar-i-Jhangvi in the past; it is now time for his party to take action against sectarian killers in the province. Meanwhile, the previous PPP-led Sindh government completely failed to control sectarian violence in Karachi. It is hoped the PPP vastly improves its record this time around. Sectarian violence in the metropolis seemed to dip when the caretaker set-up took over and some Sindh police officials have said the ‘targeted operations’ initiated against criminals yielded results. If this is the case such opera-tions must continue in order to bring sectarian militants to justice. On the national level, all newly empowered political forces must forge consensus and a plan to tackle the monster of sectarian militancy.

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Comments (2) (Closed)


hyderphd74
May 30, 2013 04:42am
Lawyers did not care to protest on the sectarian killings until a couple of their own were gunned down. Now they are running around like feather-less chickens. When these murderers assassinated the governor of Punjab, these same lawyers garlanded the killer and took all kinds of gifts to the confessed murderer's jail cell. Do they think the life of one of their own is more valuable than the rest of us? For their information the sectarian killing of the Shias is going on for a long long time. Have they only recently found out about this? Hundreds of Shia doctors, engineers and other professionals have been brutally murdered on the streets in broad daylight. It is impossible to believe that no one saw any culprit/culprits in any instance. No. This is a planned program and announced manifesto of the terrorist organizations. Unfortunately they are in cahoots with the government, the police and most of all, the army. Thanks to the seeds sowed by Zia and party (some of whom are still enjoying the pulpit of power), this menace can not be rooted out without major surgery. By major, I mean the utmost !!
Dr. D. Prithipaul
May 30, 2013 04:52pm
The editorial seems to forget that Pakistan itself was the product of sectarian violence. Though it would have been nice to forget the nature of the origin of the Pure State, it is nevertheless undeniable that violence has always been the categorical concomitant of Muslim culture. Indeed the killer, whether as a solitary criminal, or as a Talib madrasa trained to bring about universal Islam, consciously puts reason on his side, for reason can be applied to the justification of any misdemeanor or of any virtue. While a national or local Umma, as such, subscribing to the monotheistic belief, has never, in any longitude or latitude, at any time during the past 14 centuries, been a quiet, contemplative, peaceful community. The bloodshed began with the murders of the three immediate successors of the Prophet. Like Pakistan, the first moment of the consolidation of the Umma began with the battle of Badr.