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No longer Hindus or Christians who face largest threat of violence… but Shias: Fatima Bhutto

NEW DELHI: “Pakistan is a country of ghosts. They are everywhere, the victims and the perpetrators both”, wrote Fatima Bhutto in an Indian daily.

Expressing concerns over the violent attacks on Shia community, she wrote, according to some estimates, around 1,000 Shia citizens of Pakistan have been killed in the last two years.

Ismailis, a peaceful community of Muslims, share closeness with the country’s Shia minority and are thus victimized on Wednesday when six gunmen wearing police uniforms stopped an Al Azhar Garden bus carrying 60 Ismaili Muslims in Karachi, she mentioned.

“Seventy per cent of Pakistan’s Muslims are Sunni. And in this predominantly Muslim country, it is no longer Hindus or Christians who face the largest threat of violence from orthodox and radicalised groups but Shias”, Fatima Bhutto said.

“We cannot look at the dead too long — only long enough to check that what ended their lives will not end our own. Fatal lists swing wildly from the specific to general. Are you Hazara? Are you Shia? Are you an Ahmedi? Any of the above will get you killed”, she added.

Christians in Lahore protest after an attack on two churches in February 2015

 

Anything is possible in Pakistan today. And those who are violent and powerful, we know from history, can hurt anyone.

Criticizing government’s approach, she said, for any violent tragedy – local and national administrations — are never to blame, not really. The police are not to blame. The state is above fault. Of course, a commission will be called and an inquiry made. What more do you want?

A view of the Al Azhar Garden bus attacked in Karachi on May 13 in which 47 Ismailis were killed

 

Every province that suffers horrendous attacks suffers amnesia too. Sindh’s phenomenally corrupt government mounted a defence against its sin of not protecting the 43 dead — terror happens all over the country, the Chief Minister said, it happens in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab too.

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