A recent report reveals that last year, no killings in the name of religion were recorded from Islamabad and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. In 2016, sectarian and religion based violence claimed more than 90 lives, at the same time none was reported from the federal capital. Nonetheless, neighboring districts saw worst forms of sectarian violence in 2016.
In keeping with data released by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) delineated that in 2015, two casualties as a result of religious or sectarian violence were reported, in 2014 six and one in 2013. CRSS further detailed that in 2016; at least 241 murders motivated by sectarian or religious differences were reported. In 2015, 304 murders were reported.
The report presented a break-down of such cases saying in Punjab alone 79 fatalities were reported from sectarian violence in 2016. In Punjab; number of fatalities motivated by religious and sectarian violence remained highest in the country. Ranking second in this list was Balochistan with 73 cases, followed by Sindh with 40 cases, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with 36, and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) with 13 cases.
The report said: “The highest fatalities from sectarian violence were recorded at the Gulshan Iqbal Park in Lahore where the Christian community was apparently targeted on their Easter Day festivities. However, only 14 out 74 people were identified as Christians. The other highest victims of sectarian violence were Sufi pilgrims at the Shah Norani Shrine.”
Among the list of worst affected cities in Pakistan, Lahore ranked first with a total of 74 killings, and 250 people injured; mostly as a result of deadliest terror strike on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016. Terrorists targeted Lahore’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, which was packed with Christians who were celebrating Easter. This was deadliest terror strike reported in 2016.
In this list, Khuzdar ranked second with a total number of fatalities was 62. Karachi was the third most violent city for sectarian violence with a total of 38 deaths. Most numbers of sectarian violence based killings in Sindh were reported from Karachi. On number fourth, is Mohmand with 36 fatalities.