The Horrifying Situation of Pakistan’s Christians
On Sunday, two bomb blasts near a church in Peshawar city of Pakistan killed as many as 80 people from the Christian minority of Pakistan and wounded many dozens others. The attack brought wide condemnation from the country’s within and from across the world. Pakistan’s Christian minority group has long been facing persecutions and harassment because of the controversial blasphemy law and by the hard-line militant groups. The recent attack on the Christian minority group of Pakistan shocked the nation and brought the government-led efforts to resume talks with the militant groups in the spotlight. The two major bomb blasts that targeted a church in the Pakistani city of Peshawar killed at least 80 people wounding dozens of others.
The attack on one of the most vulnerable non-Muslim communities of Pakistan is seen as Pakistan’s failure to protect one of its most persecuted minority groups. Pakistan’s new premier Nawaz Sharif has begun attempts to contain the militant groups that are actively organizing terrorist groups across the country. But Sharif, who has long been an advocate of negotiations with the Pakistani Taliban to bring peace in the country, knows very well that such attacks could derail the initiative he started to end the militancy in the country. In his route to the United Nations headquarter in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, Nawaz Sahrif said the attack in Peshawar did not bode well for the talks with Taliban and other militant groups.
The attack on Pakistani Christian minority group is coming only a few days after Pakistan’s major political parties approved Nawaz Sharif’s initiative to talk with the militant groups in order to end the militancy ravaging in the country for about a decade. In his speech in the grand session of political parties of Pakistani in Islamabad, Nawaz Sahrif stressed that the country was the scene of violence and militancy, and that there is no ground for the country’s political parties to play politics over the issue. Perhaps it not only Sharif who understands the enormity of the situation in his country, but also other senior political figures and major parties is concluding the same judgment.
In the last decade, Pakistan has been a hotbed of violent extremism by militant groups that not only have been involved in organizing attacks against US and Afghanistan Security forces beyond the borders but also have been waging a deadly war in the country itself. In past several years, the Islamist groups based in northwestern tribal areas of the country have organized brutal attacks against minority groups of Pakistan. The wave of attacks on minority communities has been such intense that the situation is bordering a real crisis in the country regarding the inter-ethnic coexistence and social harmony. Many label Pakistan as the safe haven of terrorist groups. Like other rulers of Pakistan, there is no open-ended time for the Nawaz Sharif’s administration to solve the militancy and extremism in the country that has crippled the economy of Pakistan and tarnished its image in the global stage.