American Muslims condemn violence against Shias in Pak

Condemning the killing of Shias in Pak, the American Muslim community has called for intervention by Pak`s religious, civic and govt authorities.

Last Updated: Aug 18, 2012, 10:32 AM IST

Washington: Condemning the recent killing of about two dozen Shias in Pakistan and expressing concern over increase in attacks on religious minorities, the American Muslim community has called for intervention by Pakistan`s religious, civic and government authorities.

In a statement on Friday, the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) called for an end to intra-faith violence and minority persecution in Pakistan.

Attacks against Shias are on the rise in Pakistan, particularly in the northern regions, it said.

MPAC called on Islamic scholars of all schools of thought to condemn this cancerous practice of attacks against Shia communities.

"Scholars and activists, especially in regions spreading anti-Shia rhetoric, must make it clear that there is no room in Islam for murder and violence. The Pakistani government should investigate this growing security concern and make the rights and safety of minorities a priority," it demanded.

A day earlier, Washington-based Gilgit-Baltistan National Congress had condemned the killing of 21 Shias of Gilgit-Baltistan by militants near Abbottabad, and urged the US and the United Nations to pressure Pakistan to open the trade routes with Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Ladakh.

"United Nations and US are requested to pressure Pakistan to open travel and trade routes towards Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Indian Ladakh so that Shias are not forced to travel on the roads that have become killing fields and virtually controlled by ISI-led militants like Lashkar-e-Toaiba, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba," Gilgit-Baltistan National Congress (GBNC) said in a statement on Friday.

Alleging that Shias and other religious minorities are being prosecuted in Pakistan, the Gilgit-Baltistan National Congress in its statement said demanded that the State Department grant a CPC (Country of Particular Concern) status to Pakistan and impose restrictions on activities of Pakistani secret service agencies and their militant allies.

PTI