NEW YORK: The killing of at least 25 people during religious processions on Wednesday highlights the continued failure of Pakistani authorities to protect Shias, Amnesty International said.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan have claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s bombings in Rawalpindi and Karachi, which came as the Shia community marked the holy month of Muharram.

“These attacks demonstrate the Taliban’s utter disregard for human rights and basic principles of humanity,” said Amnesty International Deputy Asia-Pacific Director Polly Truscott.

“Unfortunately the Taliban are just one of the groups implicated in attacks on Shia Muslims resulting in hundreds killed or injured in Pakistan this year.”
Amnesty International said it has recorded at least 39 attacks on Shias since the start of 2012, adding, “But despite the frequency of such violence, the Pakistani government has a poor track record of bringing the perpetrators – and those who incite them – to justice.” “From ethnic Hazaras in Quetta and communities in the Tribal Areas to men and women in Gilgit all the way down to Karachi, people of all walks of life live in constant fear of deadly violence,” Truscott said.

“The Taliban and others must cease all such attacks and the authorities must bring the perpetrators to justice through prompt investigation and fair trials.”

“In no way can such attacks be excused as an attempt to protect the religious sentiments of other faiths,” said Truscott.

“Failure to act sends a dangerous message that the authorities are unwilling or incapable of protecting their citizens.”

 

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