Easter Terrorist Attack Leaves Christians, Other Minorities Worried About Future in Pakistan

Government ramps up counter-terrorism efforts.



Even as the off-shoot of the Pakistan Taliban that claimed responsibility for Easter Sunday's suicide bombing at a Lahore park stressed they were targeting Christians in the attack that killed at least 70 people, local authorities insist the attack was not aimed at Christians specifically.

"The target was not the Christian community in particular," a senior police official said according to Pakistan Today, pointing out that Muslims were also killed in the attack.

Human rights activist Hussain Naqi told Pakistan Today that statement amounted to a "cover-up" by a government "trying to downplay the incident to hide its own failure at protecting Christians and minorities".

Activists point to a string of terrorist attacks aimed at Pakistan's minority Christian community, as well as blasphemy laws and their use by Muslims to settle personal scores. Activists told Pakistan Today Christian community leaders have been worried about a terrorist attack since the February execution of Mumtaz Qadri for the assassination of Salman Taseer for his opposition to the country's blasphemy laws, which also carry the death penalty.

Qadri was Taseer's bodyguard when he shot and killed him in March 2011. Two months later the country's minorities minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian in the cabinet, was also assassinated. He opposed the country's blasphemy laws as well.

There have been protests over Qadri's execution recently, with Islamist activists having planned prayers over the past weekend in support of Qadri, who they want declared a martyr. Protesters and police clashed in Islamabad yesterday, and there were more demonstrations over Qadri's execution today.

Protesters are also calling for the execution of Aasia Bibi, who was prosecuted under the country's blasphemy laws after drinking from the same water as her Muslim coworkers and asking them what Mohammed ever did to save humanity while defending her religion to them. She was sentenced to death in 2011, and both Taseer and Bhatti were among her most vocal supporters.

The prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, canceled a trip to Washington in the wake of the Lahore attack and said the government would be stepping up counterterrorism efforts, including with the use of Rangers, provincial paramilitary units that will be granted the authority to conduct raids, searches, and interrogations.

Sharif said the Lahore attack was a sign Pakistan was defeating the terrorists. "I know terrorists are attacking soft targets like public places and parks, killing innocent citizens in desperation because security forces have deprived them of their hideouts, training facilities and terrorist infrastructure," he said Monday in a televised address.

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    1. Irish, just don’t respond to the jokes about you being racist. Embrace it or ignore it completely. John likes fat girls, I’m Tulpa, and Warty has tastes in sex that man was not meant to know. Reacting negatively is only going to make it worse and stress you out for no reason.

    2. I know the backstory of “Irish hates black people,” but thought it was gentle ribbing and a joke. Is he serious? Was he always serious about it?

      1. I actually missed that backstory, but some people get personally vicious on this board if they disagree with you. It can quickly turn what was originally a joke into actual insults meant to tear you down. I can understand why Irish might be reaching the end of his rope on this one.

        1. Something something fuck off tulpa.


          1. šŸ˜‰

    3. But the only places Islamic terror is a problem are war zones. Some people just don’t accept that just because only one side is fighting it’s not less of a war zone.

      1. Well, then, everywhere is or could be a war zone, which kind of dilutes the meaning of the term and makes excluding “war zones” from the calculus intellectually dishonest.

    4. Irish,

      Sure and begorrah, me friend, I be mostly of Irish ancestry meself. So lets take a more detached view, or we can end up is a beer or whiskey soaked heap, shuddering with sobs on the barroom floor. When pulling away from the horrible abuse of those under the violent rule of this particular Muslim group, or another, we find Yazidi’s still there.

      They’ve been there almost as long as the Egyptians, with a remnant of old, very pre Christian and pre – Temple Judaism Mesopotamian religion. Along with them for just the last couple ‘thousand years are Christians stemming from the evangelism of the first disciples . Many of both groups have faced Islamic or other such abuse over the ages; the current remnant persists. Over time, some emigrated in each generation.

      Will the ISIS crew finally crush them, and if not, will any stay for the next round? If so, that clinches it: If there’s a genetic connection to denial, it’s these groups that have been “screened for it” for so long that must have it. So lets save them, to study them for the genetic connection to denial. Once we have that, we use it on as many of my arguement opponents as possible!

  1. There won’t be minorities in Pakistan for long, so this problem is rare one that should fix itself.

    1. I wish things would solve this way, but people are bound and determined not to abandon their homes. Even when it is essentially suicide to stay. Besides, they’ll just split off some new group to persecute if the original group gets too rare for demonization purposes.

    2. The,

      Christianity has thrived in brutal suppression, just as Islam has. Both belief systems involve focus on prioritizing one’s life after dying. This is the “afterlife.” When one truly buys into the afterlife, accepting torture, etc for ones faith become rational. As in all arguements, agreed on axioms are basic to a given arguments’ validity.

      So the Christians shouldn’t be expected to give up under violent attacks here, any more than they have in Nigeria. And most of the Pakistani Taliban have Army connections, and just as we see now, the Army has reacted by occupying a terrorist infested Pakistani province. They react slowly, and work to keep the terrorism in Afghanistan and India, and out of Pakistan. The locals and politicians occasionally discuss this aspect of the Army, but usually just accept it.

      And only the most extreme Taliban will actually work like Nazi’s to genocidally eliminate non Muslims, because that’s explicitly counter to the Koran. It says to oppress, but not kill off Christians and Jews, because all three are “Abrahmaic” religions (they use the term “people of the Book.”). Such “most extreme Taliban” will be controlled by their fellow terrorists when the Army gets rolling-and once they do, the Army will back off, and the pattern repeats.

  2. So the take-away here is that terrorism works.
    I see.

    1. Shirl,

      Terrorism (part of “asymmetric warfare”) works sometime. It worked for Sherman in his “March to the Sea” through Georgia in the Civil War. That intended to terrorize and demoralize the South, to the benefit of the war effort (it also had a big effect on Rebel logistics).

      Firebombing Japanese cities was definitely unjustifiable by then and now “Just War Theory,” but wholly justifiable under the theory that the horror of every city, one after the other, being burned to the ground would demoralize many in Japan – a direct motive of terrorism – to the benefit of the war effort (it was also morally justifiable due to the proven – on Okinawa – intent of the populace to directly fight with the Japanese Army if we invaded).

      The violation of our mores to say its wrong to hurt women, kids and civies in general gives terrorism its wrongness for most of us. The fact that we react to it sometimes by doing what the asymmetrical player on the other team wants is one reason he’ll keep doing it. But mainly this is all he has.

      This being the only arrow in his quiver it to span many generations. Before WW I an Islamic terrorist / anarchist from a Muslim country/province of the Austro – Hungarian Empire assassinated the crown prince, indirectly starting WW I.

      1. “(it was also morally justifiable due to the proven – on Okinawa – intent of the populace to directly fight with the Japanese Army if we invaded)”

        In fact no such thing was proven. Civilians on Okinawa voluntarily collaborated with the US forces in defeating the Japanese. Those civilians who fought the US forces were likely to have been coerced into it by the Japanese forces. And they were subjected to atrocities by the Japanese forces. All this suggests a chance for the US to use Japanese civilians (who after invasion turned out to be total pussy cats) against the fascist regime, quite the opposite of what you paint here.

  3. So, Nawaz Sharif, would you say they are “contained” and simply because they put on a Azhar Ali jersey, that doesn’t make them a member of The Men in Green?

  4. “The target was not the Christian community in particular,” a senior police official said according to Pakistan Today, pointing out that Muslims were also killed in the attack.

    It’s the mother of all “good cop, bad cop” routines, taken its most sickening, genocidal level.

    1. I imagine the terrorists are yelling at their computers right now “May Allah infest their camels with crabs! Of course the target was the Christian community in particular! What do we have to do to convince these sons of goats that we mean what we say!”

  5. So those guys on Most Dangerous Catch aren’t really looking for crab in the Bering Sea because some other stuff occasionally winds up in the crab cages? That would be news to Captain Sig and company.

  6. This is nothing, let me tell you how bad muslims have it in the US, now there is oppression and genocide !

  7. Happy Easter!

  8. Religion of peace.

  9. Open borders and unlimited immigration, how does it work?

  10. I’ve been seeing stories of the religious/ethnic cleansing that has been going on in the Middle East for years. From my recollection, the numbers are overwhelming.

  11. Clue as to how to defeat terrorism: how did our efforts in Iraq and Afghanland compare to Putin’s in Chechnya?

    Its simple to compare our two efforts – we meticulously policed our troops, often exposing our “dirty laundry” of official prisoner abuse or overly harsh battlefield civilian abuse or prisoner abuse. Putins troops waged a WW II battle, using artillery to knock down sniper occupied building, tanks to support street firefights, and dive bombing and strafing jets to help the tanks and troops advance.

    When his “war”-much more of an extended live-fire exercise-was done, Putin put a proxy Chechen warlord in power, and he has kept the peace brutally and effectively, using his cultural knowlege of how to do so.

    We use Muslim troops and money as much as possible, with some American troops and leadership to kill the enemy. Our negotiations give us a planned gov that should at least be able to hold order, and have a Jordanian or Egyptian level of educational and media access opportunities. Am I a genius? No, but I try to read periodically about this stuff, and this combines ideas I’ve read in the past.

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