Last week, Pakistan was hit with the deadliest bout ob terrorism it has seen in years. There were eight attacks in just five days, killing at least 100 people. Although these attacks did not target Pakistan’s Christian community, they still spread fear among the religious minority community. Christians and their places of worship are often seen as soft targets by Pakistan’s terrorists. In recent years, churches have become a common target for the Pakistani Taliban around the Easter holiday. Will this Christians need to take extra security precautions this Easter?
02/20/2017 Pakistan (Mission Network News) – Last week, Pakistan was hit with the deadliest bout of terrorist attacks since 2014. Eight blasts in five days killed over 100 people, with the most recent attack in the Sindh province, an area that had previously been put on high alert. ISIS claimed responsibility for the February 16th attack on Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Sufi shrine.
The spree of violence broke out on Monday when a suicide bomber targeted participants and police at a rally in Lahore. Media reports say at least 13 people were killed. However, Bruce Allen of FMI says according to some of their contacts in the area, the death toll was likely higher.
The following day, two policemen were killed while trying to diffuse a bomb. On the 15th, six more people were killed in two separate suicide bombings. Along with the deaths from the shrine attack, three soldiers were killed on Thursday.
Frustration over apparent unimpeded violence means people are blaming the government for handling the situation clumsily. Allen says citizens are afraid these attacks only increase in frequency and severity. With the most recent lethal assault, the urgency behind two questions grows: What is being done about terrorism? And who is responsible?