Sectarian violence is a decades-long phenomenon in Pakistan. Religious minorities are under constant threat and discrimination. It is not just the non-Muslim communities who face threats from the fanatic religious extremist zealots, but also the Muslim 'minorities' like Shia and Ahmadis. According to latest reports, the fate of late Punjab Governor Salman Taseer's son is uncertain.
He was kidnapped from a crowded part of Lahore city last week. Reports in Pakistani media suggest that the abductors are trying to make a deal with the Taseer family to forgive Malik Mumtaz Qadiri, the assassin of late Salman Taseer.
The world saw how a murderer was appreciated with garlands in his court appearing. It is not new, and the religious sectarian hatred and terrorism has its roots from the era of military dictatorship of Zia-ul-Haq in Pakistan.
The abduction of Shahbaz Taseer shows how the bunch of bloodthirsty sectarian terrorists can do whatever they want, challenging the very writ of Pakistani state. We hope safe return of Shahbaz Taseer, and urge the Government of Pakistan to ensure strongest possible punishment to Malik Mumtaz Qadiri.
For the minority Muslim sects, insecurity is now the biggest concern in Pakistan. Particularly the situation for the besieged Hazara Shia community in Quetta is at its worst. Targeted-killings of innocent individuals have become a matter of daily routine.
Leaders of sectarian outfits like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda, roam around in different Pakistani cities freely.
In a recent attack on the besieged Hazara community last week on the first day of Eid, blood of 12 innocent lives was shed, when a suicide bomber in a car with about 60kgs of explosives blew himself up close to a mosque.
Prior to that, a vehicle with people from that particular minority ethnic group was attacked and a dozen people killed. According to statistics of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, more than 500 people of the Hazara ethnic minority in Quetta have been killed in the last 8 years.
The tragedy is that the international media has been ignorant of the massacre of religious minorities in Pakistan. Local representatives of the international rights groups have also ignored and under-reported the on-going massacre of a minority group in Quetta.
The Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have not had a single report on the systematic campaign of targeted-killings in Quetta for the last decade. A petition on the internet nowadays with over 550 signatures urge the HRW and AI to notice this lack of reporting on their behalf.
We appeal the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the United Nations Commission for Human Rights to take notice of a systemic genocide of the besieged minority Hazara community in the Quetta city of Pakistan.