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Government’s Complicity Has Accelerated Targeted Attacks on Christians

Targeted attacks on Christian community have alarmingly in restive Quetta in the past few months. The unfortunate terrorist attack taking place on 15th April resulted in the loss of, at least, two innocent souls while leaving 7 others injured when terrorists opened fire on worshippers standing outside church in Essa Nagri. The level of complicity and incompetence by government officials have facilitated the escape of terrorists after the incidence. The so-called Daesh claimed responsibility of the attack through an electronic message to local media outlets. Daesh is the name being used in wake of recent terrorist attacks although terrorists of Anjuman Sipah Sahaba (ASS), Lashker-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Ahle Sunnat wa Alajma’at (ASWJ) and Daesh etc are different sides of the same coin with full knowledge and appreciation of the government and its security agencies. Anjuman Sipah-e-Sahaba and its militant wing Laskher-e-Jhangvi later becoming Ahle Sunnat wa Aljama’at (ASWJ), despite being banned by Pakistan, UK and USA as terrorist organisations; are free to hold anti-minority rallies and deliver inflammatory speeches provoking attacks on marginalized and under-represented communities.

Soon after the Essa Nagri terrorist attack, a Hazara delegation comprising senior community leaders visited the church and expressed their heartfelt condolences to the aggrieved families. The Hazara delegation was led by Tahir Khan Hazara, a seasoned and outspoken local leader, lauded for his firm stance and rhetoric for minorities. Through a press release issued by the Hazara Siyasi Karkunan (Hazara Political Workers), the Hazara delegation condemned this cowardly attack and offered their full support to the Christian community, who, in return, thanked them for their visit, terming the complete failure and apathy of the government in providing full security.

In the aftermath of the attack, the government authorities instead of taking decisive action against the terrorists; have advised the Christian community that they should remain at their homes instead of venturing out in order to avoid such attacks. In an interview to the DW News, the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church’s priest, Simon Bashir expressed his dismay over government’s lack of interest in providing them security.

Over two weeks ago on 2nd April, 2018, the terrorists opened fire on a rickshaw which killed four innocent people of the same family including two women who had arrived to Quetta for family visit during Easter Vacation.

HUM, UK urges international community, the UN’s Human Rights Council and the Human Rights Organisation to intervene into this serious matter to protect the loss of innocent lives in Pakistan.