Massacre of Shias in Quetta provides damning indictment of authorities: HRW

Published: January 11, 2013
Shia Muslim mourners sit beside the coffins of blast victims at a mosque following overnight twin suicide bombings in Quetta on January 11, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

Shia Muslim mourners sit beside the coffins of blast victims at a mosque following overnight twin suicide bombings in Quetta on January 11, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK: The government’s persistent failure to protect the minority Shia community from sectarian attacks by Sunni militant groups, is reprehensible and amounts to complicity in the barbaric slaughter of Pakistani citizens, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.

“The government should immediately hold accountable those responsible for ordering and participating in deadly attacks targeting the Shia across Pakistan and particularly the Hazara Shia in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province.”

On January 10, at least 4 bomb attacks took place in Quetta killing over 90 and injuring well over 150 people.

Those killed included at least 8 police personnel and one journalist.

“2012 was the bloodiest year for Pakistan’s Shia community in living memory and if this latest attack is any indication, 2013 has started on an even more dismal note,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at Human Rights Watch.

“As Shia community members continue to be slaughtered in cold blood, the callousness and indifference of authorities offers a damning indictment of the state, its military and security agencies.”

In 2012, well over 400 members of the Shia population were killed in targeted attacks. Over 120 of these were killed in Balochistan province, the vast majority from the Hazara Shia community.

Similar attacks targeting the Shia population have taken place repeatedly over the last year in Balochistan, Karachi, predominantly Shia populated areas of Gilgit Baltistan in the northern areas, and in Pakistan’s tribal areas, Human Rights Watch said.

“Pakistan’s tolerance for religious extremists is not just destroying lives and alienating entire communities, it is destroying Pakistani society across the board,” said Hasan. “Sectarian violence won’t end until those responsible are brought to trial and justice.”

Human Rights Watch urged the federal government and relevant provincial governments to make all possible efforts to promptly apprehend and prosecute those responsible for recent attacks and other crimes targeting the Shia population.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Sonya
    Jan 11, 2013 - 1:26PM

    All hopes are on Pakistan Military’s changed doctrine !!!


  • Abdullah
    Jan 11, 2013 - 1:54PM

    Again false image being portrayed regarding the blasts. Not only shias were killed and it was not in a shia worship place. Also, at the same day, Swat blast only involved sunni effectees.


  • zeeshan
    Jan 11, 2013 - 2:49PM

    Abdullah…. Sorry to say… but I have to, u such a selfish man,

    what makes u to think and say such thing like that, I no u care about ur religion or of ur people in some way, but here it is some thing else, they were also human who have been killed in yesterdays incident, if every people think like u so believe me dear that day is not far when every one will kill each other just because they are from different sects or different language…. please wake up, teach others to get unite and stand to save ur country and ur people…

    more then 100 people have lost their life yesterday in PAKISTAN….
    can u believe this??

    where is the army where is police?? what are they doing and why are they wearing uniform?

    I condemn, my sympathy is with all the family who have lost their beloved ones….

    Gov of Pakistan wake up..!!!!.
    one day every one will die, u too…
    what will u answer to ur lord ??


  • Jan 11, 2013 - 3:00PM

    didnt it happpen on a tableeghi jamaat … what a lie ET ..


  • A Hazara
    Jan 11, 2013 - 3:01PM

    Whilst Hazaras continue to count their dead in yesteday’s blast, the feeling of resentment towards the government and military has reached fever pitch. We have had enough. The Majority of Pakistanis do not give a fib about the plight of the Shia community as a whole and Hazara people specifically,

    Hazaras of Quetta no longer accept the local and federal government’s right to govern in Quetta. International organisations have now noted the plight of a beseiged people and will help establish direct diplomatic ties with the international community.


  • tpo
    Jan 11, 2013 - 3:32PM

    It’s heartening to see you have a change of heart.


  • Syed
    Jan 11, 2013 - 6:25PM

    @A Hazara. I am a Shia living outside of Pakistan. I feel terrible as my Shia brothers keep getting killed. I have attended couple of Shia killing protests and I am always praying for our shia brothers/sisters in Pakistan specially Balochistan. Just know that you are not alone and InshaAllah Allah will help us. Allah apnay naik bando ka hi imtehan leta hai. Recommend

  • Nazia
    Jan 13, 2013 - 4:52PM

    Its not abt killing sunni,s or shia first of all killings human n the biggest thing is Muslim killing muslims


  • Nazia
    Jan 13, 2013 - 4:57PM

    Oh for ALLAH sake its not abt shia,s n sunni,s please ,thr is no value of humanityn biggest shame is tht Myslim killing Muslim…..


  • irfan
    Jan 13, 2013 - 11:14PM

    Shia genocide continues – this is not sectarian issue but genocide. Call it for what it is.


  • mohd zaman changazi
    Feb 3, 2013 - 4:48PM

    we should presserise the pakistani govt ,,and law inforcing agencies and the agensies to stop the killing of innocent people specially shias all over pakistan and hazara shias in quetta ,,other wise the shias which are protesting now ,,may convert their protest to resistance against sipah e sahaba and lashkare jangvi millitants…


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