‘Sufi shrines targeted to trigger sectarian conflicts in Pakistan’By IANS
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s Urdu media Monday slammed the attack on the shrine of revered Sufi saint Hazrat Baba Farid Ganj Shakkar, terming it the “latest episode in terrorists’ nefarious plan to create sectarian conflict”.
“It is extremely tragic that terrorists are targeting our sacred and holy shrines in their bid to destroy religious understanding and create sectarian conflict,” an editorial in the influential Jang newspaper said.
At least six people were killed and eight injured Monday when a powerful blast tore through the shrine in Pakpattan town of Punjab province.
Welcoming the coming together of all clerics on the platform of the Sunni Ittehad Council and their condemnation of the attack, Jang said the government also has the “responsibility to move away from mere talk and assure the people that they are taking credible action against the threats”.
Noting that such shrines are “centres of peace and tranquility” and “resound with the message of love, sympathy and brotherhood”, the Nawa-i-Waqt said it was “unfortunate that some wretches had sought to make them centres of fear”.
The editorial said the involvement of all “those external agencies who sought to push Pakistan into sectarian strife could not be ruled out”.
“Our enemy, (India’s Research and Analysis Wing) RAW, (Afghanistan’s) Khad, (Israel’s) Mossad, (American private security firm) Blackwater could have been involved as part of their attempts to destabilise Pakistan,” it said. These countries “who had allowed their armed forces to kill their own and other innocent civilians, were capable of anything”, it added.
Both the dailies editorially demanded that the government rise to the occasion and take “credible action” to reassure the people against such threats.
According to police officials, the blast occurred at the eastern gate of the Sufi shrine that was closed a few months ago due to security concerns. A motorcyclist carrying milk cans parked the bike outside the gate. The explosives were concealed in the milk cans.
Shrines of Sufi saints have been the target of terror attacks in the recent past. A suicide blast at a shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi in Karachi almost two weeks ago killed 10 people while two blasts targeting the Data Darbar shrine in Lahore in July left over 40 devotees dead.