Shia Muslim neighborhood threatened in Pakistan
Militants give Shias 10 days to leave or face consequences
ucanews.com reporter, Peshawar
April 16, 2014
A Pakistani militant group yesterday threatened minority Shia Muslims to leave their neighborhood or face dire consequences.
According to police, outlawed militant group Lashkar-e-Islam - Army of Islam - distributed copies of a pamphlet in the Mazhar district of Peshawar, capital of the country’s troubled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The pamphlet told residents, who are mostly Shias, to vacate the area within 10 days.
In the pamphlet, leader Lutfullah said that the group’s shura – executive council - had decided to act against the people of Mazhar.
He did not elaborate on what prompted the militants to issue the threat at this time, but security sources believe it is part of a long-running hostility towards the Shias, who are denounced as heretics and non-Muslims by Sunni extremist groups.
“Our families are terrified by this threat,” a Shia resident, who asked not to be named, told ucanews.com. “We have asked the police to ensure security, but nothing has been done yet."
Police said they have launched an investigation to ascertain the pamphlet’s authenticity.
Shias make up approximately 15 percent of Pakistan’s mostly Sunni population. Sectarian attacks against them have been on the rise in recent years. According to Human Rights Watch, more than 400 Shias were killed in 2013.
Last week, four Shia professionals, two doctors and two lawyers, were gunned down in Karachi in what police described as sectarian attacks.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama has apologized for his alleged blasphemy to no avail
Could recent rulings against extremists signal a new start for the Islamic republic?
Bishop Lei Shiyin attends ordination of new Xichang prelate, two days after ceremony in Chengdu
Archdiocese wants to help but because of a lack of support from the government we are unable to support them, says archbishop
Minorities are skeptical that the new unit will be able to stop sectarian abuse