In what appears to be a revival of sectarian attacks in the region, a 13-year-old Shia boy was shot dead while his uncle was critically wounded in 14 Pul, an area in the Khanewal district on Sunday night.
Police sources said that Nasar Hussain, 42, was riding a motorcycle with his nephew Haider Abbas, 13, near Jahanian when three armed men on a motorcycle opened fire on them, killing Haider instantly and injuring Nasar.
The head of the Jahanian police, DSP Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad, said that it was too early to ascribe the motive to the attackers. However, the family of the victims said that, since the incident did not appear to be a robbery and the family had no enemies, they were assuming that they were targeted for being Shia.
If the killing were indeed motivated by sectarian reasons, it would be the latest in a spate of attacks against the Shia community in the region surrounding Multan.
On July 18, three Shia men were injured in a bomb attack on a canal bank on Peeran Ghaib Road in Multan, according to Fida Hussain Ghalvi, vice president of the Shia Ulema Council.
Ghalvi said that the recent attacks appeared to be part of the resurgence of banned sectarian organisations.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2011.