Malik Muzammil |
The bomb blast at a Methodist Church in Quetta on the 17th marked another terrible day for Pakistan during the month of December. People hadn’t stopped mourning over the 3rd anniversary of the Peshawar APS massacre that took place on the 16th of December 2014 when a new tragedy took place. Nine people were killed and 50 injured as insurgents wearing suicide vests tried to enter a 400 strong congregation at a Church in Quetta while it was hosting a Christmas service.
Fortunately one of the bombers was killed outside the church and the other couldn’t fully manage to get inside, which limited the number of casualties. This is not the first time an attack targeting Christians has occurred close to or on one of their religious holidays. In 2016, a devastating bomb blast in Lahore on Easter killed over 70 people, injuring almost 350.
On the other hand, minorities in India, especially Muslims, are being tortured and killed by Hindutva followers that are staunch supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narnedra Modi.
The attack took place at one of the largest parks in Lahore, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, and targeted innocent Christians, as they were ready to celebrate their holy day of Easter. The majority of the people killed by this brutal attack were women and children. Religious figures from around the world, including the Pope condemned the attack and prayed for the departed souls.
Attacks like these prove the Christian community is clearly being targeted by some groups of people. The complicated part is figuring out who is committing these heinous acts of terror. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as well as ISIS have both claimed responsibility for the attack that took place in Quetta recently.
We may never get conclusive proof as to who is genuinely responsible for this attack because groups like ISIS are notorious for claiming every other terror attack that takes place in the world, but we can still form an intelligent opinion. Whoever masterminded the attack clearly does not want what is in the best interests of Pakistan.
It seems like events like these are planned to try and create religious hatred and portray a negative image of Pakistan to the world. Pakistan has its rifts between different religious sects and communities in the country but these conflicts are largely instigated by foreign actors trying to impose their agenda. Saudi, Iranian and Indian proxies have led to worsening conditions in the country.
These recent attacks against the Christian minority of Pakistan can be seen as India trying to form a narrative against Pakistan by taking innocent lives. Pakistan has survived the plague of terrorism for many years and will continue to do so
Saudi Arabia exports its Wahhabi ideology to Pakistan and funds madrassas that warp the mindset of our future generations. To counteract this and make sure the Saudi’s cannot impose their ideology as easily, Iran lends its support to Shia minority groups in Pakistan leading to a proxy war and indefinite violence.
The presence of foreign non-state actors in Pakistan was proven last year when Indian intelligence agent Kulbhushan Jadhav was found inciting violence in Baluchistan. It is highly plausible that some form of foreign powers are involved in terrorist attacks against minorities in Pakistan to make the country look weaker and to discourage foreign investment, mainly the China Pakistan Economic Corridor project.
In Baluchistan it is difficult to differentiate between Muslims and Christians. People have been living together in harmony in that region for hundreds of years. The majority of Baluchistan operates as a purely tribal society. People have been living in those tribes for their whole lives and had it not been for foreign involvement, they would still be living peacefully. The Christians killed there are clearly targeted.
The worst attack against Christians in Pakistan’s history took place on the 22nd of September 2013, in Peshawar. Two suicide bombers wreaked havoc at All Saints Church Peshawar, killing 127 and injuring a further 250 people. This act too was claimed by TTP.
mPakistan has its rifts between different religious sects and communities in the country but these conflicts are largely instigated by foreign actors trying to impose their agenda.
In September 2017, an Indian analyst published an article in the Hindustan Times where he acknowledged that the Indian Intelligence spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has ties with TTP. Bharat Karnard, the analyst in question, is a professor for national security issues at the Center for Policy Research. He referred to TTP as a useful Indian counterpart hinting at the fact that India seems to use TTP as a strategic partner to the detriment of Pakistan.
The recent wave of TTP attacks against minorities can be seen as a blatant way to form an international narrative trying to prove how intolerant Pakistan is of its minorities. The attacks that happen near the Christian holidays portray the view that Pakistanis are against celebrating these holidays, which is why these attacks took place. However, this is not the case.
These attacks were conducted by terrorists and Pakistani security forces sacrificed their lives in trying to stop these attacks. On the other hand, minorities in India, especially Muslims, are being tortured and killed by Hindutva followers that are staunch supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narnedra Modi.
These recent attacks against the Christian minority of Pakistan can be seen as India trying to form a narrative against Pakistan by taking innocent lives. Pakistan has survived the plague of terrorism for many years and will continue to do so, regardless of how much foreign involvement there is.