Killers on Rampage in Pakistan

Cellular phone use was suspended on Friday (11.00 to 18.00 Pakistan Standard Time) in Karachi (capital of Sindh province) and there were indications of a possible suspension in Peshawar (capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province) in Pakistan. Though, no major incident took place on the day killers started their rampage on Saturday.

While the news of killing of personnel from law enforcement agencies has already appeared in Eurasia Review, according to details available in the local media, kidnappers killed 21 of 23 law enforcement personnel in the wee hours of Sunday.

 Personnel from the law enforcing agency were shot dead in a cricket ground near Peshawar’s Jan-e-Khawarr area. These were kidnapped on Thursday after attacks on two posts by militants in the provincial capital. The attackers were wearing uniforms of security forces and were armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons.

The spokesman of Therik-e-Taliban for Dara Adamkhel, Mohammad Afridi, has informed a Karachi based newspaper by phone that his group had carried out the attacks.

The government was seeking the help of local tribal elders to rescue the kidnapped officials and a local Jirga was conducting dialogues with the militant group but the talks did not succeed.

In another incident, 15 people have been killed and several others injured after three passenger buses came under attack in Mastung’s Dringarh area of Balochistan. The intensity of blast is evident from a photograph placed at the website of Geo television aired from Karachi.

Initial reports suggested that a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the bus. The explosion occurred when the buses, carrying Shia pilgrims from Taftan in Iran to Quetta, reached Mastung. Shias regularly travel to Taftan onwards to perform pilgrimage. One of the buses caught fire as a result of the intensive explosion and was completely destroyed whereas the two other buses also suffered partial damage.

A blast in Peshawar on Sunday injured one person. No casualties or major damage was reported after the blast. The blast occurred at the gate of Shama Cinema near Bacha Khan Chowk in Faqirabad area of Peshawar.

In another incident in the provincial capital of Balochistan, gunmen riding motorcycles opened fire and killed four policemen. The attackers sprayed bullets at police on a routine vehicle patrol.

It may be recalled that Balochistan, rich in oil and gas, is plagued by sectarian violence, a tribal insurgency and attacks by Taliban militants. Gun and bomb attacks frequently target police and security personnel in Balochistan.

In the provincial capital of Sindh, Karachi at least six people were killed when in explosion ripping apart a passenger bus parked near the Karachi Cantonment Railway Station on Saturday evening.

The blast completely destroyed the bus. There are reports that five people have been killed and at least 48 injured in the blast, some of them said to be in critical condition.

To outsiders these incidents may not look connected, but the purpose is common, weaken Pakistan and plunge the country into anarchy.

Therik-e-Taliban is notorious for undertaking attacks on sensitive installations and people belonging to security forces/law enforcing agencies. The latest attempts are also aimed at terrorizing people before Chelum of Imam Hussan, they have attacked Ashurra procession in D. I. Khan.

Killing in Mustung is part of an ongoing genocide of Shias by the perpetrators getting funds from outside. This faction even does not consider Shias to be Muslim, and call them Kafir. This killing is often attributed to a Balochistan based banned outfit Jundullah. This group also undertakes attacks in Iran. Their leader Abdul Rehman Riki was hanged in Iran, after his chartered plane going over Iranian air space was asked to land.

The latest round of blasts and targeted killing in Karachi is attributed to two separate factors: the genocide of Shias and ‘an attempt to free Karachi from the hostage of MQM’. However, residents of Karachi categorically reject both the phenomenon.

Three of the political parties PPP, ANP and MQM, which are also part of the ruling coalition, are of the consensus that groups getting funds and arms from outside are responsible for the killing in Karachi. Some of the critics even go to the extent that a proxy war is being fought in Pakistan.

This article was published in eurasiareview on December 30, 2012