On October 2nd, in Sialkot, a suicide bomber walked into a Shi’a mosque and killed at least 30 people. On October 7th, in Multan a car bomb killed 40 at a commemoration gathering for the slain radical Sunni cleric Azam Tariq. On October 9th, in Karachi, two senior-most clerics at Banuri Town madrasa – a Sunni enclave – were shot dead. On October 10, in Lahore, a bomb blast in a Shi’a mosque in Mochi gate killed 4 people.
On September 26, in Nawabshah, Amjad Farooqi was killed by Pakistani security forces. He was a member/leader of Jaish Muhammad and Harkat al-Mujahideen two offshoots from the Banuri Mosque. He was involved in sectarian violence, the execution of Daniel Pearl, and in the various assassination attempts on Musharraf, and it can be conjectured that the bombings were triggered after his death. The explosive material was deemed to be similair in the Sialkot and Multan cases. Once flamed, the violence does not need further input from al-Qaeda to flourish.
When Mufti Shamzai was killed in May it was assumed that the Shi’a community will pay the price. Nothing was done by the State to police or protect anyone. The gathering in Multan was of Millat-i Islamiya aka Sipah-i Sahaba – a group reportedly banned by the Pakistani State since the execution of its head Azam Tariq who carried out a war of attrition with Shi’a groups throughout most of the 90s. This “banned”, “terrorist” group was allowed to gather and mourn the death of their dead leaders. The Sailkot police, the Lahore police are now being suspended and whatnot. What matters? The organizations behind this, if found, can simply print new stationary and carry on the business.
The crucial issue is that The General has been playing a dangerous game where he has placated the West that he is fighting terrorists but doing so only in the cases that directly bolster his grasp on power within Pakistan. He has not, and cannot, take on the hardline mullahs. He has not, and will not, counter the jihadist organizations and the result is that all of Pakistan is now caught in the cross-fire between various jihadi agendas. My loved ones are all over that country and I am starting to get more than academically pissed at The General and those that support him.