Thousands of Pakistani Shia Muslims are now receiving death threat text messages on their cellphones as pro-Taliban militants step up deadly campaign against the community members across the violence-ravaged country. “Kill, Kill, Shias,” say the text warnings to members of the community. The smear campaign comes a day after nearly 40 Shia Muslims were killed in three bomb attacks on religious gatherings in the southern port city of Karachi and the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Wednesday evening. Heavily armed militants have targeted several religious ceremonies commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) in different regions of Pakistan over the past week. Human rights groups say hundreds of Shia Muslims have been killed in the violence-hit country so far this year. Several citizens have expressed their deep concerns over the ongoing massacre and religious persecution of Shias across Pakistan.
“Genocide against Shias is already taking place in Pakistan so the text messages don’t really matter that much,” daily Dawn newspaper quoted Jalal Haider as saying.Nearly 50,000 people plan to march through the streets of Islamabad on Saturday in order to protest against the ongoing sectarian violence and growing insecurity across the county. Violence has surged against Shia Muslims in different parts of Pakistan in recent months. Since the beginning of 2012, hundreds of Shias have been killed in various parts of the militancy-wracked country. Pakistan's pro-Taliban militants have launched a violent campaign against Shia Muslims over the past years. According to local sources, militants affiliated to Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorist groups have killed thousands of Shia Muslims in the region since the start of the campaign. The country’s Shia leaders have called on the government to form a judicial commission to investigate the bloodshed. The killing of Shias in Pakistan has sparked international outrage, with rights groups and regional countries expressing concern over the ongoing carnage. Still, those behind the violence are rarely caught or punished. Human Rights Watch issued a statement in September asking the Pakistani government to “urgently act” to protect the Shia Muslims in Pakistan. JR/JR