In a brutal act of violence, at least 20 Shia passengers were targeted by unknown attackers and shot dead on Thursday. The attackers disguised themselves in army uniforms, checked the passengers’ documents and targeted those who were Shia. The incident was the third of its kind in the last six months.
The trend of Shia Muslims being targeted in specific parts of the country has increased over the last few months. Nothing seems to stop these attacks. The identity of the attackers is never revealed. When banned religious outfits claim responsibility for such attacks, there is no response except in the form of monotonous condemnation by government officials, who then go on to blame the violence on “foreign hands” and/or liberation movements.
A set pattern of the routes, targets and manner of attacks has emerged. Yet, law-enforcement agencies are unable to curb these attacks. Highways to hometowns and holy pilgrimage sites have turned into highways to hell. The impunity the attackers exhibit is horrid. In a video that has emerged after yesterday’s carnage, passengers are apparently being checked for being Shia Muslims. While the origins and the actual date and place of the filming of the video remain unclear, the brutality of the attackers is quite clear.
When will the law-enforcement agencies and the government take measures to stop such attacks?
Will the government ever admit to lapses in security it provides to the citizens? Why can they not do their basic job of providing security? Are they too busy fighting court cases? Or playing politics? Or is it a plain case of incompetence and complacency?
How can the non-Muslim minorities be assured of their safety in Pakistan when even the Muslim minorities are not safe?
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