ISLAMABAD: At least 45 attacks took place on places of worship and religious processions from March 2008 to Dec 31, 2010, leaving 779 people dead and over 2,000 injured. Those killed or injured included children, women and security personnel.
Details of the attacks have been provided in a letter sent by PML-Q MNA Marvi Memon to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Its copies have been sent to Chief Justice of Pakistan and Speaker of the National Assembly. “It is your government’s responsibility to protect people wherever they are in Pakistan, which it clearly has failed to do.
This has reduced the religious freedom indicator of Pakistan worldwide and has meant that we are in violation of Islam’s high standards of protecting worship places of Islam and minorities as well as our Constitution’s clause on the same in the preamble and elsewhere,” the outspoken PML-Q leader said in the letter to the prime minister.
“Kindly ask your relevant ministers/ministries to report back to parliament on investigation reports for each of these attacks and brief parliament about what measures have been taken to provide security to religious places and gatherings,” she said.
The list includes attacks on the shrines of Data Ganj Bakhsh in Lahore, Baba Farid in Pakpattan, Abdullah Shah Ghazi in Karachi and Rahman Baba in Peshawar, Muharram processions in Karachi and Peshawar and Friday congregations and Imambargahs and mosques across the country.
The letter also points out the vulnerability of places of worship of minorities which were badly damaged by angry mobs during the period.