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Religion and Society

Major inter-confessional Incidents in Pakistan July – October 2010

July 1, 2010:

 

Forty five people were killed as result of twin suicide attacks at the shrine of mystic saint Hazrat Data Ganj Buksh in lahore.

 

July 3, 2010:

 

Landi Kotal, July 2: Three Frontier Constabulary (FC) personnel were killed and three others injured on Friday when militants attacked a check-post in Akkakhel area of Bara tehsil in Khyber agency.

 

July 5, 2010:

 

Muzaffargarh: Fourteen people are reported to have stripped naked a woman and her daughter on Saturday and thrashed them in the presence of a large number of people in Shehr Sultan, a town near Mirwala. Sources said the suspects got hold of 50-year-old Allah Wasai and her 14-year-old daughter Ashraf Mai when they came out of their home in Berwali to go to their fields. They then proceeded to teach the women “a lesson for the wrongdoing of Allah Wasai’s son”. SHO Mahboob Tangwani said the main accused, Safdar, alleged that Allah Wasai’s son Saddam Husain had an affair with his daughter. He and his 13 accomplices held the woman and her daughter at gunpoint, stripped them naked and thrashed them. A large number of people were there but none of them came forward to rescue the women from the assailants.

 

July 9, 2010:

 

Shikarpur: Ten people were killed in an armed clash between Magsi and Qambrani tribes in the jurisdiction of Golodaro police station on Thursday evening. According to sources, the gunbattle followed a brawl over irrigation of paddy crops near Kuddan village. The sources said the Qambrani tribe lost seven men while the Magsi tribe lost three.

 

July 10, 2010:

 

Ghalanai: At least 104 people were killed and at least 120 others injured when two explosions ripped through a crowded bazaar in Mohmand Agency on Friday. The blasts took place at about 9.30am when the Ekkaghund Bazaar was bustling with life. Within minutes, the market area was completely devastated. Bodies of men, women and children were lying all around and some buried in the rubble. Over 70 shops, houses, vehicles, offices and a police lock-up were destroyed or damaged.

 

 

 

July 13, 2010:

 

 

Islamabad, July 13: After weeks-long scrutiny, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) announced on Tuesday that at least 29 of the 511 lawmakers whose record had been checked so far had lied about their academic qualifications. However, the HEC did not name the legislators whose educational documents were found to be fake or forged. The commission said it wanted to be doubly sure before releasing the names of any wrongdoers.

 

 

 

July 18, 2010:

 

Sargodha, July 18: At least eight people were injured, two of them seriously, when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside an imambargah here on Sunday evening. The target was Darululoom Muhammadia Imambargah, witnesses said.

 

 

 

July 19, 2010:

 

Two Christian brothers accused of writing a blasphemous pamphlet were gunned down at the sessions court in Faisalabad on July 19. Pastor Rashid Emmanuel, 32, and Sajid Emmanuel, 30, a graduate business student, were arrested on July 2 under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws’ section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code on charges that the pamphlet contained blasphemous remarks about Prophet Mohammad. At least 10 Christians and Muslims were injured as a result of clashes that broke out between the two communities after the incident. Rioters caused extensive damage to a church. On July 19 at around 10 p.m. announcements were made from some mosques in Waris Pura, a thickly populated Christian area in Faisalabad, housing nearly 100,000 Christians, asking people to come out to fight against Christians. The local administration deployed a heavy contingent of police and enforced Section 144 to control the situation. However, the area remained tense even more than a week after. The funeral of the two brothers was held the very next morning to avoid further clashes between Christians and Muslims.

 

 

The recent murders reminded Christians of the Gojra incident which occured one year ago. Nine Christians were burnt alive, several were injured, and two churches and more than 120 Christian homes were destroyed by a mob which was enraged about the allegation that a Christian in a nearby village had committed blasphemy. There were other major incidents targeting Christians other than Gojra: Shantinagar (1997), Sangla Hill (2005), Qasur, Koria, and Sialkot (2009).

 

July 20, 2010:

 

Karachi, July 20: Six people, all of them associated with political parties, were gunned down within hours in an upsurge of violence on Tuesday, police said.

 

July 21, 2010:

 

Lahore: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khwaja Muhammad Sharif took suo motu notice on Tuesday of the killing of two people accused in a blasphemy case while they were in police custody at a sessions court in Faisalabad. The chief justice asked the Faisalabad region police officer to appear in person on Wednesday along with the complete record of the case. Rashid Emanuel and his brother Sajid Emanuel, accused of writing a blasphemous pamphlet, were shot dead while coming out of a magistrate’s court in police custody. A policeman accompanying them was injured in the attack.

 

 

Lahore, July 21: Widespread rain in different parts of the country, particularly Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, inundated low-lying areas on Wednesday, killing over a dozen people and disrupting life. Low-lying areas and even some posh localities came under knee-deep water in different parts of Lahore and people faced hardship in buying essential commodities in the morning. At least seven people lost their lives in rain-related incidents in the city.

 

July 22, 2010:

 

India’s Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers have agreed to avoid aggressive acts of fist-gesture and thumb-showing during the daily flag-lowering ceremony that takes place at Wagah, though the Rangers would like to continue other features of the parade like foot-pressing and leg-stretching.

 

 

July 22, 2010:

 

Lahore, July 22: The Lahore High Court ordered on Thursday that a mentally ill woman who had been under detention without trial for 14 years be immediately released. She faced blasphemy charges but police never presented any evidence against her in the court. Zaibun Nisa was arrested after registration of a case on Oct 26, 1996, in Sihala against ‘unknown people’ on the complaint of local cleric Qari Hafeez. Initially she was kept in Rawalpindi’s Adayala jail, then brought to the Kot Lakhpat prison in Lahore and later admitted to a mental hospital.

 

 

July 23, 2010:

 

Karachi: An activist of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement was killed and six others were injured when armed men attacked its office in Gulistan-i-Jauhar here on Friday night.

 

 

Larkana, July 23: A 50-year-old mother of eight who was subjected to gang rape a few days ago was shot dead by her son-in-law here on Friday. The accused, Ishaque Bhutto, was arrested soon after the murder and he confessed to having killed her.

 

 

Peshawar, July 23: A newly released video of what appeared to be fugitive Taliban leader Maulana Fazlullah shows him firing gunshots and addressing a group of ‘fidayeen’ or suicide bombers. Fazlullah mounted a violent two-year campaign to enforce in Swat what the Taliban believed was Sharia law, opposing education for girls and beheading opponents until the government ordered in thousands of troops.

 

July 26, 2010:

 

Peshawar, July 26: At least eight people, two children and three policemen among them, were killed and at least 15 injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up on Monday near the home of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain whose only son was killed in the same area on Saturday.

 

AUGUST 2010

 

Karachi: Violence triggered by the murder of Raza Haider, a senior leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and member of the Sindh Assembly, here on Monday claimed at least 26 lives till midnight, according to officials at the police surgeon office.

 

August 4, 2010:

 

Karachi, Aug 4: A hand-grenade attack inside a North Nazimabad mosque during prayers on Wednesday night left five people injured as the daylong violence which included arson attacks and incidents of firing claimed at least 22 more lives, raising the death toll to 76 in three days.

 

August 5, 2010:

 

Islamabad: The first official list containing the names of 47 lawmakers holding fake or invalid degrees is finally out: the ruling Pakistan People’s Party tops it. The list was handed over to the Election Commission by the Higher Education Commission on Thursday. The PPP with 12 fake or dubious degree holders takes the lead, followed by the PML-N and PML-Q with 11 each. The list includes the names of five legislators from Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, two from the Awami National Party, one each from the Balochistan National Party and PML (Functional) and four independent candidates. No legislator from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement is on the list.

 

August 16, 2010:

 

Karachi, Aug 16: A senior police officer who investigated the Oct 18 Karsaz bomb attacks on Benazir Bhutto’s procession was gunned down along with his driver here on Monday night.

 

 

August 17, 2010

 

Karachi: A prayer leader Mufti Furqan (50), son of Babu Ansari, belonging to the Deobandi sect, was shot dead by unidentified assailants while he was heading home in Marwari Mohalla on his motorcycle near Sabri Masjid on Nishtar Road under Nabi Bux Police Station in Karachi.

 

August 21, 2010:

 

Ghalanai: Six people were killed and four others injured when an improvised explosive device went off near a check-post in Baizai area of Mohmand on Saturday.

 

August 23, 2010:

 

Karachi: The spate of ‘target killings’ in the city is a political problem that shows every sign of worsening in the weeks and months ahead. In the first two weeks of August alone, over 140 people were killed in tit-for-tat violence following the killing of an MQM MPA and an ANP politician.

 

 

September, 2010

 

 

September 1, 2010

 

Lahore: 43 persons were killed and another 233 injured in two suicide attacks and one grenade attack on a Shia procession marking Hazrat Ali’s martyrdom in Lahore. LeJ Al-alami claimed responsibility for the three attacks that occurred minutes apart in Bhaati Gate locality of Lahore. The mourning procession was in its last stages and was about to end at Karbala Gamay Shah near Data Darbar, when the terrorists stuck.

 

Karachi: At least seven persons including a Police constable sustained minor injuries when unidentified assailants in a building near Empress Market of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, opened fire near the main Youm-e-Ali procession at 5:30 pm (PST).

 

September 2, 2010

 

Turbat: Two civilians were killed and eight others injured when unidentified assailants opened fire on a passenger bus carrying Shia pilgrims in Pidrak area near Turbat in Balochistan. According to reports, a passenger bus coming from Sindh was attacked near Pidrak area, a town close to Turbat city.

 

September 3, 2010

 

Quetta:At least 67 persons were killed while over 200 others were injured after a suicide bomber blew himself up amidst participants of a rally held to mark the Al-Quds Day in Mezan Chowk of Quetta.

 

Mardan: At least one person was killed, while four others were injured in a suicide attack on a worship place of the Ahmedis in Muslimabad area of Mardan, the main town of Mardan District, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

 

September 6, 2010

 

19 people, including nine Policemen and three students were killed and another 34 injured when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into the Lakki City Police Station in Lakki Marwat District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at 7 am (PST) in the morning.

 

September 7, 2010

 

At least 20 persons, mostly women and children, were killed, while more than 94 others were injured in a car bomb attack near the Kohat Police Lines in Kohat District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

 

September 9, 2010

 

Three of the 10 labourers, abducted by TTP from Chitral District on August 29, were killed. Three dead bodies of abducted persons, identified as Mohammad Rasul, Misal Khan and Khoedad, were recovered in the Ghambeer Gul area near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Arandu area of Chitral District.

 

September 14, 2010

 

14 militants were killed in two desperate incidents of missile attack by the US drones on September 14 in North Waziristan Agency of FATA. In the first attack, officials said four missiles hit a compound in Bushnarai village in Shawal District of North Waziristan Agency.

 

Eight TTP militants and a soldier were killed in an encounter in Dabori Tapu Kaley area in Orakzai Agency. Sources said that the clash erupted when a group of militants attacked a security check post in Dabori Tapu Kaley area. SFs later launched a search operation in the area and recovered a cache of arms and ammunitions.

 

September 15, 2010:

 

Four persons were killed when militants attacked the house of a pro-Government tribal elder, Malak Buner Khan, in Ghafoor Shah Village of Khar tehsil (revenue unit) in Bajaur Agency of FATA in the midnight.

 

September 19, 2010:

 

The dead bodies of six militants were found at a graveyard while militants attacked the house of a tribal elder in Akhorwal area of Darra Adamkhel in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sources said that six bodies of militants, who had been shot dead, were found at the graveyard of Akhorwal area.

 

 

September 20, 2010:

 

Suspected US drones fired missiles at militant hideouts in a village near Mir Ali, a town in the North Waziristan Agency of FATA, killing six persons in the 15th such attack in September 2010. "The drone fired one missile on two terrorists riding on a motorbike and when two of their colleagues rushed towards them, two more missiles were fired," said a security official.

 

 

September 21, 2010:

 

At least 28 persons were killed in three US led drone strikes in the remote areas of South and North Waziristan Agency of FATA.

 

More than 42 militants were killed in the ongoing operation against TTP in Frontier Region of Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sources said that several other militants were injured and captured as the operation continued on the third consecutive day.

 

September 22, 2010:

 

Four militants were killed and another eight injured in an encounter with SFs Spray and Bandaray villages in Mamoond tehsil of Bajaur Agency in FATA. Sources said SFs thwarted an attempt by the TTP to capture Spray and Bandaray, two border villages.

 

 

September 22, 2010:

 

10 militants and three Security personnel were killed in an ongoing military operation in FR of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

 

Three Security personnel were killed in a roadside blast in Mamari area of Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency. Political administration officials said that SFs were on patrol in Mamari area of Bara tehsil when their vehicle was hit by a blast caused by a bomb planted on the roadside, killing three soldiers and injuring one.

 

 

September 23, 2010:

 

Three persons were killed in terrorist attacks on NATO oil tankers in Landi Kotal and Torkham areas in Khyber Agency of FATA.

 

 

September 28, 2010:

 

Six militants were killed and five others injured when helicopter gunships shelled militant positions in the upper parts of Orakzai Agency in FATA.

 

 

October, 2010

 

 

October 3, 2010:

 

Six persons were killed and over a dozen sustained injuries when unidentified militants opened fire at 28 NATO oil tankers and set them ablaze near the DHA Phase 2 on Grand Trunk Road in Islamabad, the national capital of Pakistan.

 

 

October 7, 2010:

 

Nine persons, including two children, were killed and over 65 others sustained injuries when two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi in the Clifton area of Karachi in Sindh.

 

 

October 18, 2010:

 

 

The parents of Lubna Masih, the twelve-year-old Christian girl who was raped and murdered in Rawalpindi by a group of Muslims, accepted a compensation of one million rupees (approximately 11,600 Euros) to abandon the legal proceedings against those responsible for the crime. Her family, still in mourning, is saddened and bewildered.

 

After a struggle between the Christian organizations that had encouraged the parents to reject any proposed agreement and other envoys and mediators, including several members of Parliament, Saleem and Guddi Masih gave in, accepting the significant cash contribution, which closes the case on a legal status. Saleem, Lubna's father, said: "I forgive the men who killed my daughter. We'll start a new life."

 

Karman, Saleem's brother, said "They are upset, but the decision is up to them." Gudde, devastated by the pain cannot utter a word. Life for All, a Christian-based NGO that has fought against impunity and to raise the issue of violence against Christians, told Fides with regret: "If the parents do not even have the strength to defend the memory of their daughter, nobody can do anything."

 

Carrying out the negotiations was the organization "Ephlal Ministry" ("Justice Service"), specializing in civil and legal mediation. The organization will take 20% of the agreed sum. Among the determining factors were the poverty and hardship of the Masih family. Fides sources point out that "the technique of buying the silence of victims is nothing new and is part of the uneven distribution of forces in the field: Christian families are often the last on the social scale and they are forced to confront members of the Muslim upper middle class or wealthy landowners."

 

In response to the many cases of violence against Christian girls, last March the President of Pakistan, Ali Zardari, announced the establishment of a "direct telephone line" with a response office, to report the most serious cases of violence against religious minorities. Zardari, in agreement with the minister for religious minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, had also called for the establishment of an international commission to dialogue with the government and address the most urgent issues. The Christian community had welcomed and supported the project, but currently none of these initiatives has yet come to pass.

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