SARAS
South Asia Research and Analysis Studies

Attacks on shrines
MAEMUNA SADAF
10/15/2018

Since Pakistan joined the war on terror with the United States and its allies, a wave of terrorist attacks entered the country. Sufi Shrines, religious places, and sectarian killings started. These attacks brought massive killings and collateral damage to the country.
Looking into history, a chain of bomb attacks and suicide attacks started in 2005. The terror attacks started with the attack on Shrine of Rakhel Shah, in the remote village of Fateh pur in District Jhal Magsi. On 27 May, 2005 Bari Imam Shrine Islamabad was attacked while a Majlis was going on there. The terrorist attack was to flare up emotions of Shia community. This was a huge attack to bring in sectarian riots in the country. “Ulema” saved the country by acting right on time.

The day of March 05, 2009 brought tears and bloodshed when the Shrine of Sufi Poet Rehman Baba was bombed in Peshawar. A year later, on 17th June 2010, on the outskirts of Islamabad, Golra Shareef Shrine was attacked. A police constable and 3 others were injured in that attack. In the same year, on July 07, Suicide bombers attacked Data Darbar in Lahore killing 37. On Oct 07, the shrine of Abdullah Shah Gazi, Karachi was attacked killing eight and leaving 60 injured. On Oct 25, Shrine Baba Farid Pakpatan was attacked in which 6 people were killed. On 7th March 2011, around 11 people were killed in Akhund Panju Baba at Akbarpur Jaba in Nowshera. In the same year, Shrine of Sufi Saint Ahmad Sultan, popularly known as Sakhi Sarwar at Dera Ghazi Khan was attacked killing 6 and leaving 100 injured. In Khuzdar Dera Balochistan, the suicide attack at the shrine of Shah Noorani resulted in 60 deaths and more than 100 people were killed.
On 16th Feb 2017, the suicide attack on Shrine Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, snatched lives of 70 devotees including women and children. On 1st July 2010, one of the worst attacks was on Sufi Mosques and Shrines, two suicide bombers targeted the shrine of Data Darbar in Lahore. At least 42 people were killed and more than 172 injured in that attack. The people of KP bore the major brunt of terrorist attacks as more than 50 Sufi Shrines were targeted by the militants.



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