95% of global sectarian violence focused on Shias, reveals report - Usman Kabir
KARACHI: Ninety five per cent of sectarian violence all over the world in 2017 was focused on the Shia community,
according to a report released by Global Extremism Monitor.
The report was published by Tony Blair Institute for Global Change on Thursday and called on the world to fully engage in a battle of ideas with the extremists to halt the spread of violence.
According to the study, Pakistan was on a list of countries most affected by violent religious extremism despite lying outside the major conflict zones.Pakistanis least protected against terrorism, armed conflict: WJPOver 1,489 people were killed by groups that claimed to fight in the name of religion all over the country in 2017, the report reveals.
This figure includes as many as 247 civilians who were killed in sectarian terrorist attacks in Pakistan in 2017.
Other key findings highlighted in the report underlined that religious extremist groups were fast transforming into transnational actors, which carried out sustained campaigns against the civilian population and weakened state governments.
Global Extremism Monitor also underlined that sectarianism was the founding ideology of the deadliest and most active terror groups. In addition to these warnings, the report noted that extremist groups used executions and suicide bombings as a terror tactic and exploited religious doctrines on the nature of war in this regard.Pakistan ‘underachieving’ as 14th most powerful country in Asia: report
Another important issue mentioned in the report refers to the increasing participation of women in terrorist attacks globally and the terrible continuation of violence in Syria. According to figures released by the international group, more than half of civilian casualties from global terrorism in 2017 were recorded in Syria.
The Monitor also gave a detailed picture of terrorist incidents in 10 of the most violent countries in the world, including Pakistan.Non-Sunni population under attack in PakistanOver 1,489 people were killed in 2017 by groups which claimed to fight in the name of religion in Pakistan,
according to the report.
The study also noted that terrorists in the country seemed to be working on a two point-agenda, with some extremists seeking to undermine the Pakistani state, while others targeting Shia community and minority groups.
Sehwan, Sindh-----Islamic State----------------------A suicide bomber attacked Sehwan Sharif, killing at least 90 people
Turi Bazaar, K-P---Lashkar-e-Jhangvi---------------Militants targeted Shia civilians in twin bombings, killing 67
Lahore, Punjab----Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan-----A suicide attack killed 26 civilians
Parachinar, K-P----Lashkar-e-Jhangvi----------------At least 25 were killed after a bomb detonated at a market
Parachinar, K-P----Jamaatul Ahrah-------------------A car bomb targeted a Shia mosque, killing 22 civilians
The research also reveals that at least 12 terror groups were active in the country over the course of 2017, and seven of them launched terror attacks.Pakistani media ‘most vibrant’ in Asia, threatened by powerful groups inside country: RSF
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was the deadliest, and managed to kill 173 people
in the year. TTP hit civilians, government figures, media personalities and security forces in a systematic campaign to undermine the state of Pakistan.
According to Global Extremism Monitor, TTP was responsible for a number of attacks on educational institutes in the country throughout the year, and even told the media that the attacks were a response to Pakistan taking action against the families of militants.
Another disturbing trend highlighted in the report is the enhancement of relationship between different terror groups in Pakistan, evidenced by TTP claiming responsibility for an IED explosion, carried out in retaliation for the killing of Asif Chotu, a member of sectarian terror outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).
The study also notes that 247 civilians were killed in sectarian violence perpetrated by the terror groups. Around 136 of these causalities were Shia community members, and over 36 per cent of the attacks on civilian target
s took place in Balochistan.Civilian authorities in Pakistan maintain effective control over security forces, says US govt reportFactions of sectarian outfits affiliated with LeJ also pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS) in 2017,
which is expected to further inflame tensions in the region at large, underlined the Monitor.
The report also stresses that in addition to these terror groups, there were several local extremist organisations which did not initiate attacks themselves, but were instrumental in providing a platform for larger terror outfits to wreak havoc in the region.
Delving into some detail about LeJ, the Monitor notes that the outfit tended to focus more than half of all violent activity on attacking soft targets, like civilians or government buildings and staff. LeJ was also identified as the third largest perpetrator of attacks against civilians in the world, ahead of Boko Haram in Nigeria and IS in Afghanistan. Besides LeJ, two other groups Jamaatul Ahrar and TTP also launched attacks on the Shia community in the country.