Pakistan moves against Shia killings
Tue, 24 Feb 2009 19:29:22 GMT

Interior Ministry Chief Rehman Malik

Islamabad gives its security forces orders to protect Shia Muslims after hundreds of community members were killed by the Taliban allied groups.

“The provincial government has been asked to divide the Dera Ismail Khan into zones and undertake house-to-house search operation to unarm the people who were behind the deadly attacks in the town” Interior Ministry Chief Rehman Malik told reporters in Islamabad, a Press TV correspondent reported Tuesday.

Malik’s remarks come after thirty people were killed and 65 others injured on Feb.26 in a bomb blast in the troubled town close to northwestern tribal region.

In early February, at least 35 Shia Muslims were killed and 50 others injured after a bomb exploded in the town of Dera Ghazi Khan in the central Punjab province.

Also today, unidentified armed men have reportedly opened fire at a passenger bus in Pakistan’s lawless Kurram Agency, kidnapping 14 Shia Muslims.

Taliban-linked militants in Parachinar, Hangu district and much of the Kurram tribal agency have killed 25 to 30 people on a daily basis during the last six months, according to Pakistani local media reports.

Moderate Pakistani Sunni groups believe that leaving Shias at the mercy of the Taliban is a conspiracy against the country.

Taliban has established its rule in the restive Swat valley and its influence is also rapidly increasing its grip on the major cities and even the so-called settled areas of the country.

Some reports have cited grave human rights abuses against Shias in the northwestern Pakistani city of Parachinar.

Shias make up one-third of Pakistan’s 160 million-strong population. Since the 1980s, thousands of people have been killed in violence-related incidents in Pakistan by extremist groups.

The developments come after Tehran cautioned Islamabad over the ‘silent massacre’ of its Shia community by the Taliban, in the country.

“The incidents that have occurred against Pakistan’s Shia community are a plot to create conflict between the region’s Sunni and Shia population,” Ali Larijani said.

“We have warned Islamabad over the incidents and we will pursue the matter,” he added.

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SOURCE: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=86673&sectionid=351020401

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