Sectarian killings increased by 352pc last year: Human Rights Commission Pakistan
There was a marked increase in sectarian killings last year, statistics from the Human Rights Commission Pakistan (HRCP) indicate.
The year 2012 recorded 104 cases of sectarian killings, a 352 percent rise from the year 2011 which recorded a total of 23 cases. A majority of those targeted belonged to the Shia community, although in the consequent tit-for-tat cycle of violence Sunnis have been victimised too.
Police continue to explain these killings as the work of militant groups as the majority of people from both communities seem to be cordial towards each other. Sindh HRCP Assistant Coordinator Abdul Hai stressed that no investigation by the law enforcers in such cases had reached any solid conclusions; however, in some cases militant groups took responsibility.
“Our law-enforcement agencies are weak and corrupt, and this is what gives muscle to militants,” he said.
“These are guerilla warriors. There is no way to stop them. Even an operation against them will not help because the economy is stagnant and there are no jobs,” he said, suggesting that economic downturn indirectly leads to violence.
In the year 2012, 843 people were killed in various law and order situations that erupted in the city.
“During strikes, ethnic and political riots many people get caught in crossfire. A bullet does not know who to kill; it kills whomever comes in its way,” explained Hai. Four hundred and eighteen people having no political affiliations died in such incidents in the year 2011. The year 2012 showed more than a 100 percent increase in such tragedies.
Karachi gives no respite to its children either. A total of 114 children were killed in 2012, at least 22 by stray bullets. About 25 children were abducted and killed, of which 11 were raped before being murdered.
The year 2012 took away the lives of 133 police officials, an enormous figure compared to the 74 deaths in 2011. Meanwhile, in the year 2012, 118 citizens lost their lives at the hands of police and paramilitary forces, while 107 were killed in police encounters.
Political killings remained at 356, almost the same figure as the year 2011.