Pakistan imploding under sectarian violence

Dawn: By Murtaza Haider: After decades of waging the propaganda war against India for its highhanded treatment of Kashmiris, Pakistan is now the subject of a similar campaign by India who has highlighted the plight of Shias being murdered by sectarian terrorists in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Asian News International reported recently that “in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan’s only Shia dominated province, ethnic cleansing is being carried out systematically.” At the same time, the Shia-dominated town of Kargil in the Indian controlled Kashmir recently shut down the main bazaar in solidarity with the Shias of Gilgit and Chilas who were murdered in cold blood in early April. Several Sunni Muslims also lost their lives a few days later when sectarian violence broke out in the region.

The comparative statistics on terrorist violence between India and Pakistan speak volumes of how the tide has indeed turned against Pakistan. The data compiled by South Asian Terrorism Portal reveals that in the current year alone, approximately 150 civilians, mostly Shias, have died in sectarian violence in Pakistan. In comparison only 23 violent deaths were recorded in the Indian controlled Kashmir in 2012.

Even with a six-times larger demographic footprint, 62 civilians reportedly died in terrorist violence in India in 2012, whereas 734 civilians became victims of terrorist violence in Pakistan during the same time period. For decades, Pakistan had pointed finger at India and accused her of failing to protect the life and property of religious minorities. Today, Pakistan stands accused of the same where Muslims belonging to minority sects and others are being murdered while the state’s machinery has failed miserably to protect their lives and property.

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