Documented incidents of extremism from November 2021 to March 2022

Blasphemy

Police arrested four men for blasphemy after they argued with an imam(cleric) over whether a funeral announcement for a Christian neighbour could be made from a mosque.[1] United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has designated Pakistan for having engaged in or tolerated ‘systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom’.”[2]

A mob has burned a police station in North West Pakistan as officers detained a mentally unstable man accused of blasphemy.[3] The mob demanded the man be handed over to them, which the police has refused to.

Violence against Minorities

An 11 year old Hindu boy was sexually assaulted and murdered in Sindh.[4] A Hindu girl from the Sukkur district was also reportedly missing.

Two Christians were killed following a row between two families over the irrigation of certain fields.[5]

Forced conversion

Recent data reveals that around 1000 women belonging to Christian and Hindu communities are forced to convert to Islam every year.[6] Reportedly thirty eight cases of forced conversions of underage girls have taken place this year.[7]

Honour Killings

A Pakistani woman was shot dead near a sessions court in Gujrat, allegedly by members of her family because they were against her romantic relationship.[8]

Terrorism

Afghanistan’s foreign minister in an interview with the BBC Urdu service, said that the Taliban was acting as a mediator between the Pakistani government and the Pakistan Taliban.[9]After the government agreed to free 2, 000 detained members of Tehrieek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), lifted the ban on the group and agreed to let it contest elections, far right leader Saad Rizvi has been removed from the terrorism watchlist.[10] This has led to his release from detention. The government made these decisions under a deal to end weeks of deadly protests by his followers.[11] The resultant 1 month ceasefire which may be extended mutually has been subjected to criticism.

Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), based in Pakistan and internationally banned, has set up new camps in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Afghanistan.[12] Its recruits have increased and the group has also formed alliances with various terror groups like the Haqqani Network and the ISIS-K.[13]

Six leaders of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) terror outfit, founded by Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) chief and 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, were acquitted by a Pakistan court in a terror-financing case.[14]

The Islamic State detonated and explosive device inside the barracks of a police.[15]

Best Practices

The Kartarpur corridor has been opened for Sikh pilgrims to visit one of Sikhism’s holiest shrines.[16] It is a visa-free crossing allowing Indian Sikhs to visit the temple just 4km (2.5 miles) inside Pakistan where Guru Nanak died in 1539.[17]

The Hindu temple Shri Param Hans Ji Maharaj temple in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which was set on fire and vandalized by a mob of Islamists was rebuilt.[18]


[1] ‘Pakistani police arrest four for ‘blasphemy’ over mosque argument’ (Al Jazeera, 25 November 2021) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/11/25/pakistan-arrest-blasphemy-mosque-argument-christian

[2] ‘US issues religious freedom ‘concern’ list, removes Nigeria’ (Al Jazeera, 18 November 2021) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/11/18/us-issues-religious-freedom-concern-list-removes-nigeria

[3] ‘Mob attacks Pakistan police, fails to grab blasphemy suspect’ (ABC News, 29 November 2021) https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/mob-attacks-pakistan-police-fail-grab-blasphemy-suspect-81441212

[4] ‘Hindu minor boy sexually assaulted, murdered in Pakistan’ (The Tribune, 21 November 2021) https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/world/hindu-minor-boy-sexually-assaulted-murdered-in-pakistan-340728

[5] ‘Muslims shoot Christians, killing two and wounding several on Okara’ (Asia News, 10 November 2021) https://www.asianews.it/news-en/Muslims-shoot-Christians,-killing-two-and-wounding-several-in-Okara-54252.html

[6] ‘Pakistan: Nearly 1,000 Christian, Hindu women fall victim to forced conversion every year, say rights activists’ (The Times of India, 18 November 2021) https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-nearly-1000-christian-hindu-women-fall-victim-to-forced-conversion-every-year-say-rights-activists/articleshow/87773996.cms

[7] ‘Asma Jahangir Conference: ’38 forced conversion cases so far reported this year’ (The News, 22 November 2021) https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/910696-asma-jahangir-conference-38-forced-conversion-cases-so-far-reported-this-year

[8] ‘Pakistani woman shot by Family in ‘Honour Killing’ (Desiblitz, 10 November 2021) https://www.desiblitz.com/content/pakistani-woman-shot-by-family-in-honour-killing

[9] ‘Afghan FM confirms Kabul ‘mediating’ talks between Pakistan, TTP’ (Al Jazeera, 15 November 2021) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/11/15/afghan-taliban-mediating-pakistan-ttp-talks

[10] ‘Pakistan takes far-right leader off terror list to end protests’ (Al Jazeera, 12 November 2021) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/11/12/pakistan-far-right-leader-saad-rizvi-terrorism-list-protests

[11] Ibid.

[12] ‘Pakistan promotes Lashkar-e-Taiba despite international pressure’ (ANI, 23 November 2021) https://www.aninews.in/news/world/asia/pakistan-promotes-lashkar-e-taiba-despite-international-pressure20211123134153/

[13] Ibid.

[14] ‘Pak court acquits 6 leaders of Hafiz Saeed’s banned JuD outfit. Charges explained’ (Hindustan Times, 07 November 2021) https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/pak-court-acquits-6-leaders-of-hafiz-saeed-s-banned-jud-outfit-the-charges-explained-101636257785236.html

[15] ‘Islamic State Claims Attacks on Pakistani Police Barracks’ (US News, 14 November 2021) https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2021-11-14/islamic-state-claims-attack-on-pakistani-police-barracks

[16] ‘Pakistan, India reopen Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims’ (Al Jazeera, 18 November 2021) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/11/18/pakistan-india-reopen-kartarpur-corridor-sikh-pilgrims-guru-nanak

[17] Ibid.

[18] ‘Hindu temple destroyed in northwest Pakistan rebuilt, opens doors to devotees’ (India Today, 10 November 2021) https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/hindu-temple-destroyed-in-pakistan-rebuilt-chief-justice-open-to-devotees-1874977-2021-11-10