Sectarian violence a recurrent practice in Pak: UN

Last Updated: Saturday, March 3, 2012 - 14:26

United Nations: Expressing concern over the
continued sectarian violence in Pakistan, a group of UN human
rights experts has said targetted killings have become a
"recurrent practice" in the country, which is failing to
protect the security of religious minorities.

The experts warned that sectarian violence threatens
to worsen if the Pakistani government does not respond swiftly
and decisively to confront it.

Sectarian violence has "sadly become a recurrent
practice in Pakistan, and we urge the Pakistan Government to
identify and prosecute the perpetrators and do everything
possible to establish strengthened security measures," UN
Independent Expert on minority issues Rita Izsak said in a
statement.

At least 18 Shia Muslims were killed in a February 28
attack on a bus in Kohistan in northern Pakistan by
unidentified gunmen.

In a previous incident on February 17 more than 30
people were killed and wounded when a suicide bomber exploded
a bomb close to a mosque in a mainly Shia neighbourhood in the
Kurram tribal region.

Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief
Heiner Bielefeldt said "these targeted killings once more
display the appalling degree of religious hatred in a country
where there seems to be a failure to protect the security of
religious minorities."

The experts expressed their condolences to the
families of those killed and all the people of Pakistan who
suffer from such acts of terror, saying such killings are
"extremely shocking" and constitute acts that require the
strongest response.

They asked the Pakistani government to respond
"decisively" to end sectarian violence and improve the
security of religious minorities.

"Such serious incidents demand, and communities have
the right to expect, the most rigorous response possible from
the Government," Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on
extrajudicial executions, said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, March 3, 2012 - 14:26

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