Pakistan’s Hindus and other minorities face surge of violence
The mob arrived at around midnight, brandishing clubs. They smashed statues, looted gold artefacts and then set the Hindu temple in Pakistan ablaze.
An accusation of blasphemy sparked the attack in the town of Larkana, human rights activists said, part of a spike in violence against Hindus in predominately Muslim Pakistan.
March was the worst month for attacks on Hindus in 20 years with five temples attacked, up from nine during the whole of 2013, said Life for All, a Pakistani rights group. But it’s not just Hindus who feel victimised.
All of Pakistan’s minorities – Hindus, Christians, Ahmadis and even Shi’ite Muslims – feel that the state fails to protect them, and even tolerates violence against them.
Many complain the problem has become worse since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is seen as more conservative and indulgent of Islamists than his predecessor, came to power last year.
This raises questions about the state’s pledge to rein in the militants who launch attacks into India and Afghanistan. The neighbours say the extremists act with the complicity of Pakistan’s security agencies. Islamabad denies that
Non-Muslims make up a small fraction of the 180 million people in nuclear-armed Pakistan.