Militant group threatens to attack religious minorities
20 Oct 2002
KARACHI: A militant group that owned up to Wednesday's parcel bomb blasts in Karachi has threatened to launch punitive attacks on the country's policemen and religious minorities in the near future.
"Guerrilla activities will be launched against the anti-Islam police officers and other non-Muslims," the outlawed Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group said in a statement. The statement is believed to be the first indication of the group's involvement in the execution-style killing of seven Christian charity workers in Karachi last month. Lahskar-e-Jhangvi, however, did not claim responsibilty for that attack and five other similar attacks on Christian targets.
Apparently the attacks are in reprisal for what the group perceives as the infidels' loyalty to the United States and the subsequent persecution of its activists at the hands of the police.
The latest threat has shocked the country's minority groups who are feeling increasingly insecure and fearful. "We don't know what have we done to deserve this. We haven't harmed anybody nor do we side with any Western power," said a church group leader. "We have always supported Pakistan."
On Thursday the civil rights group Conscience condemned Wednesday's attack on the offices of the law-enforcement officials. " Anyone who kills and maims in the name of religion is an infidel. Islam, like other great religions, does not promote violence," Conscience said in a statement. "We salute the brave policemen who are doing their duty and vow to support all their efforts in future."
Yesterday's blasts targetted the city's top policemen who had played a key role in the arrest of several high-ranking Al-Qaeda members and activists of local militant groups. "The explosions are an outcome of the wrong policies of the present rulers," the group said.
The self-styled chief of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Asif Ramzi, warned the authorities late Wednesday that those who exploded the parcel bombs were capable of more deadly acts. Ramzi claimed that the so-called jehadi outfits had joined hands and were working under the banner of the United Muslim Army. He also issued a warning to political and religious parties and told them to desist from making disparaging comments about the Taliban or the Mujahideen.