Taliban Gain Foothold in Pakistani City By Ihsanullah Tipu Mehsud, Ismail Khan, and Declan Walsh 27 July 2013
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Groups of Taliban fighters are spilling out of the tribal belt in northwestern Pakistan into the region’s largest city, Peshawar, where they are increasingly showing their presence through a campaign of intimidation and violence, according to residents, the police and city officials.
While Taliban violence has declined across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province this year, officials say, rates have increased in Peshawar, where militants have stepped up attacks aimed at the police, extortion demands, sectarian killings and kidnappings. (read more)
45 Killed in Sectarian Bombings in Pakistan By Salman Masood 26 July 2013
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — In a deadly sectarian attack, at least 54 people were killed Friday evening and about 75 wounded when two bombs ripped through a town in a tribal region of northwestern Pakistan, officials said. A militant group affiliated with the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility.
Most of the dead in Parachinar, the main town of the Kurram tribal region near Afghanistan, were believed to be Shiite Muslims. (read more)
Pakistani Court Bars Ex-President From Elections for Life By Reuters 30 April 2013
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - A Pakistani court on Tuesday imposed a lifetime ban on former President Pervez Musharraf from contesting elections, derailing his efforts to regain influence by winning a seat in parliament.
It was the first time a court in Pakistan had declared a citizen ineligible from contesting elections for life.
The former army chief returned last month after nearly four years of self-imposed exile to contest a May 11 general election, but election officers disqualified him because of court cases pending against him.
The High Court in the northwestern city of Peshawar rejected Musharraf's appeal against the disqualification. Court Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan imposed the lifetime ban on running for election or becoming a member of the parliament. (read more)
An injured man in hospital on Monday, after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives on a busy Peshawar street during the morning rush hour.
Bomber on Motorcycle Kills 9 During Rush Hour in Pakistan By Declan Walsh, New York Times 29 April 2013
PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- A suicide bomber killed 9 people and wounded 29 on a busy road here early on Monday, officials said, in the latest episode of violence as Pakistan moves nervously toward elections scheduled for May 11.
An attacker riding a motorcycle detonated his explosives near the suspected target, a police patrol car, on busy University Road during the morning rush hour, killing a police constable and several bystanders, said Faisal Kamran, a senior police official.
“He was trying to get closer to the target but probably couldn’t get through the rush and exploded just a few feet away from the target,” Mr. Kamran said. (read more)
CAR BOMB AT PAKISTANI REFUGEE CAMP KILLS 13 By Riaz Khan and Rebecca Santana ASSOCIATED PRESS
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) -- A car packed with explosives blew up inside a refugee camp in northwestern Pakistan on Thursday as hundreds of people lined up to get food, killing 13 and wounding 25, officials said. The attack on the Jalozai camp underlines the intensity of the conflict in Pakistan's northwest, where refugees are sometimes caught in the middle of a battle between the government and militants. Militants often don't want residents to flee an area of conflict, in part because it deprives them of a civilian population in which to hide and undermines their claim that they have local support. ( Read more)
Blast Kills at Least 45 Pakistanis in Shiite District of Karachi By Declan Walsh 3 March 2013
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A powerful explosion ripped through a crowd of Shiites as they left a mosque in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, on Sunday, killing at least 45 people. It was the latest atrocity in an escalating campaign of countrywide sectarian violence. (Read more)
To Fight India, We Fought Ourselves By Mohsin Hamid 21 February 2013
ON Monday, my mother’s and sister’s eye doctor was assassinated. He was a Shiite. He was shot six times while driving to drop his son off at school. His son, age 12, was executed with a single shot to the head. (Read more)
Quetta: Shia Hazaras refuse to bury Pakistan bomb dead By BBC news 18 February 2013
Ethnic Hazara women in the Pakistani city of Quetta are refusing to bury the bodies of scores of people killed by a huge bomb in a Shia commercial area. Shia Muslim Hazaras are furious at what they see as a lack of protection from local and national forces, in the face of repeated attacks. Saturday's bomb ripped through a busy market district, killing at least 84 and injuring some 169 people. (Read more)
Frustrated by a protracted war, Pakistani tribesmen pressing divided Taliban into peace talks By Riaz Khan 15 February 2013
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Five years after setting up an umbrella organization to unite violent militant groups in the nation’s tribal regions, the Pakistani Taliban is fractured, strapped for cash and losing support of local tribesmen frustrated by a protracted war that has forced thousands from their homes, analysts and residents say. (Read more).
Pakistan's Shia genocide Murtaza Hussain Al Jazeera 26 November 2012
This year's Ashura in Pakistan signified a continuation of the country's spiral into self-destructive communal violence.
Once a respected and well-integrated minority in a country where they comprise roughly 20 per cent of the population and count the nation's founder as one of their own, Shia Muslims within Pakistan have become a community under siege in recent years and are facing a situation which is increasingly being described by many Pakistanis as a slow-motion genocide.
Several hundred Pakistani Shias have been killed this year alone in increasingly high-profile attacks by extremist militants, including one incident caught on video in August in which passengers were forced off a bus in the Gilgit region and executed by armed militants who checked their victims' ID cards before killing whomsoever they could identify as being Shia. (read more)
Pakistan Frees Taliban Prisoners, Renewing Hopes for Peace Talks Delcan Walsh New York Times 14 November 2012
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan said it had released at least seven senior Afghan Taliban prisoners on Wednesday, rekindling fragile hopes that Islamabad may be ready to help broker peace talks with the militants as the Western military withdrawal from Afghanistan looms.
A senior Pakistani security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that “seven to eight” Taliban prisoners had been set free but refused to name them. A Western official said the figure could be as high as 14 prisoners. News reports citing Afghan officials said the freed prisoners included Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, a former Taliban justice minister and religious hard-liner. It was unclear whether the men were to be transferred to Afghan custody or released in Pakistan. But the announcement was mostly seen as an initial sign of good faith by the Pakistanis — perhaps to Afghan Taliban leaders in exile in Pakistan, perhaps to Afghan or American officials who seek to open talks, most likely all of the above — in a slow-moving negotiations process that has been blighted by deep mistrust on all sides. (read more)
Mehran accuses Pakistan of following Hitler's policy in Balochistan Ahmar Mustikhan The Examiner 21 September 2012
A voice of sanity from Balochistan, who is highly respected by Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, profusely thanked the U.N. Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance for visiting Balochistan.
Speaking at the U.N. Human rights Council, Mehran Baluch, who is the youngest son of veteran leader Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, thanked Rapporteur chair Professor Olivier de Frouville and Professor Osman El-Hajje, who Thursday concluded a 10-day fact finding mission to Pakistan, with special focus on Balochistan.
"Balochistan, as many in this council are fully aware, is today the world capital of enforced disappearances," Mehran Baluch told the premier Human Rights Council. (read more)
2012 Countries at Risk: Pakistan
The country of Pakistan has been fraught with various occupations and civil wars due to its geo-political location in the Middle East. Because of the ethnic diversity within the region, many administrations have struggled with the ethnic tensions and violence being perpetrated against citizens by militant groups such as Al Qaida and the Taliban. These terrorist groups operate with impunity while the Pakistani government struggles to uphold the “Responsibility to Protect” citizens against its own national military. The military resists civilian authority, operating independent of the elected government. Human Rights Watch has reported that the Pakistani military has been behind a number of forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings targeting religious and ethnic minorities, specifically Shias and people from the Baloch region. Political dissidents are at risk for these forced disappearances as well, The Karachi-based Baloch Rights Council estimated that about 1,600 political prisoners were in custody of security forces in 2010. Civilians are detained indefinitely and undergo various forms of physical torture; women are often sexually abused and raped as a form of interrogation while in custody. Discrimination against women continues to be an issue that warrants greater concern by the international community. In some regions of Pakistan, criminal trials are conducted by religious courts headed by appointed judges and assisted by religious scholars. These trials are biased and corrupt and operate under Sharia law. They also deny people representation and opportunity for bail. Under the jurisdiction of these courts, women are helpless against verdicts including honor killings (a husband or male family member taking revenge against a woman for a crime of honor), which are legal in all four provinces. These courts also consent to “watta-satta” marriages (exchange of brides between clans or tribes in payment of a debt). Women who are engaged in these situations can be as young as twelve and are often discriminated against in their spouse’s home and abused. There have been 500 cases of violence against women in the home reported in the last six months according to Asian Human Rights Commission. The rogue military in Pakistan continues to target religious and ethnic minorities. One persisting problem is the isolated region of Balochistan in Northern Pakistan. The Pakistani government has carried out a cultural onslaught in the region targeting educated professionals such as Baloch historians, healthcare professionals and journalists. This civil war has been going on for decades while religious minorities all over Pakistan continue to be persecuted under the pretext of Pakistan’s infamous blasphemy law. This law holds an automatic death sentence for anyone convicted of insulting Islam and has been used to prosecute and execute religious minorities, especially Christians. This blasphemy law was introduced in the 1980s to attempt to unify the broken society under a military dictator. Because of these crimes, the government has taken drastic measures to limit citizens’ access to outside information, going as far as shutting down televisions stations and implementing a firewall to censor the web. Journalists and publishers regularly practice self-censorship in order to stay in business and avoid unwanted attention from the government and militant groups. Journalists are in constant fear of being attacked and harassed. Several of the journalists remain missing, according to the Department of State report on human rights for Pakistan. The government has implemented sanctions for certain television programs and radio stations that broadcast messages endorsed by the government. The inability of the Pakistan government to reign in its military and protect its people is a big human rights concern. While the government has recently made efforts to improve some of the issues mentioned, local influence and cultural tradition continue to dictate everyday life in this predominantly rural society. The local governments perpetuate this cycle of abuse among women and in the courts, while the censorship and limit in personal freedoms is stifled by the threat of a rampant military and various armed militants. In light of these violations, Genocide Watch concludes Pakistan remains at a risk level of 7 because of these indicators.
Genocide Watch makes these recommendations:
- The Pakistani government must make efforts to quell the apparent civil conflict in the Balochistan region by arranging peace talks
-Pakistani government ceases the repression and abuse of Baloch citizens.
-Comply with their ratification of the Convention to End all Discrimination Against Women
-End the restrictions on religious and personal freedoms