Pakistan has started hunting for the militants responsible for killing at least 65 in Lahore. However, the question remains if the country is doing enough to protect its minorities
The terror attack, which targeted Christians on Easter Sunday, has been claimed by Taliban faction. The group was once connected to the Islamic State.
“The target was Christians,” Herald Sun quoted faction spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan as saying. “We want to send this message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that we have entered Lahore.”
Pakistan has a number of active extremist groups operating in the country. They often target religious minorities, including Islamic sects like Ahmadis and Shias. A major obstacle in countering such extremist forces seems to be the connection between the groups and the Pakistani military.
According to an opinion piece on Slate, Pakistan’s military has been “in bed” with extremists for a long time now. Such extremist forces allegedly endorse Pakistan’s war in India and Afghanistan.
Military spokesman General Asim Bajwa has said on Twitter that intelligence agencies are going to start operation as soon as possible to find the perpetrators of the Lahore suicide attack.
According to him, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif had a high security meeting and evaluated initial information.
Isaac Chotiner said he had a talk with Dawn columnist Umair Javed about how the military had previously used extremism. Earlier in March, two suicide bombers killed at least 15 people and injured more than 70 in two churches in Lahore. The attack took place during prayers at those churches.
Around 4,000 Christians later got violent and attacked a Metro bus station. They also smashed vehicles in a show of anger, Dawn reported.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility for the attacks. It is the same faction that has taken responsibility for the Sunday attack. The extremist group has been trying to topple the government to establish a stricter Islamic law in the country.