Saturday, January 23, 2016

Extremists take Aim at Soft Target

Muslim Torched Church in Pakistan

Soft Target

The Oxford Dictionaries Online defined "soft target" as "a person or thing that is relatively unprotected or vulnerable, especially to military or terrorist attack."[1] 
 The terms "soft target" and "hard target" are flexible in nature and the distinction between the two is not always clear.[2] However, typical "soft targets" are civilian sites where people congregate in large numbers; examples include national monuments, hospitals, schools, sporting arenas, hotels, cultural centers, movie theaters, cafés and restaurants, places of worship, nightclubs, shopping centers, and transportation sites (such as railway stations, buses, rail systems, and ferries).[3] Soft targets are contrasted with hard targets, which typically restrict access to the public and have "sufficient security countermeasures in place to provide a high degree of protection against an attack."[4] Examples of hard targets include airports, government buildings, military installations, foreign embassies, and nuclear power plants.[5] (Wikipedia)

Shamim Masih demonstrates that Pakistani Christians are the soft target of Islamic terrorists in Pakistan. This so-called ally of the USA does nothing as a predominantly Christian nation to urge the Pakistani government to offer protection to persecuted Christians.

JRH 1/23/16
Extremists take Aim at Soft Target

By Shamim Masih
Sent: 1/23/2016 12:09 AM

ISLAMABAD: Once again Islamic extremists forced sobbing parents rushed into hospitals searching for their children. Taliban insurgents once again hit a soft target at Bacha Khan University on 20th January, 2016 Wednesday. After a month Pakistan observed the first anniversary of the deadly attack on an Army Public School and killed about 150 students and teachers in Peshawar. Four terrorists entered the University and shot killed at least 30 including two teachers. Injured students said the toll could be much higher were it not for a teacher armed with a pistol that briefly held off the attackers before being killed. The attackers had chosen a day to attack when students and faculty members gathered at the school for a poetry recital to commemorate the death anniversary of Khan Abdul Ghuffar Khan, the activist and a leader after whom the school is named.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a banned organization claimed the attack through a post on its Facebook page, adding that four attackers were sent to the University. On the other hand, the TTP – Fazalullah group condemned the attack, terming it “against Shariah”. Banned organizations are still operating freely in Pakistan. The government bans an organization; it emerges with a new name, contests elections and even wins some seats and takes part in legislations. Lashkar-e-Tayba, (LeT) [HERE & HERE] banned in 2002, changed its name to Jamat-u-Dawah (JuD) and still working freely under the guise of a welfare trust - often along with Pakistan Army in cases of emergency and one of its main offices in the heart of Islamabad, the capital.

It is observed that recently Islamic militants had chosen and hit soft targets, [such as] educational institutions, worship places and minorities of the country. All Saints Church in Peshawar was attacked in which more than 127 people were killed and over 250 injured. Later; on March 15, 2015, at least 20 people were killed and more than 80 injured when two Taliban suicide bombers attacked two churches in Youhanabad, Lahore. But when happened next, the average response after these attacks is exactly the same as any other in the past. “They are not Muslims; terrorists have no religion, its conspiracy and so on. Such oversimplified; sweeping statements have become a part of national discourse in Pakistan.

Islamic radicalization has no boundary and it does not need any set organization, it’s a mindset; as a Pakistani Christian writer, I have been raising a voice against this mind set and when we talk about this mind set; watchdogs usually see and call to threaten for raising a voice of the voiceless people. We have seen such people from all walks of life. The most ridiculous of all has been the response of Ansar Abbasi [Anti-Abbasi but pro- Musharraf & Wikipedia)  and Orya Maqbool Jan [Wikipedia, LUBP &; Express Tribune], the same were considered as their negotiators back in 2014.

The year 2016 began with attacks against Pakistani Christians; five different incidents were reported in just first two weeks, on Sunday, January 03, Muslim youth disrupt Christians’ New Year prayer meeting. Muslims in a village Nawapind, in Pasrur who seized a church property have disrupted a prayer meeting at a private residence, a source said. Sources confirmed that local Christians obtained written approval from the district police office. But when Christians began worshipping, some Muslims heading Rashid Jutt reached there and disrupted the meeting. Local police officer, SHO told that police resolved the issue at a village council level meeting [See Also Morning Star News]. On 7 January, the New Apostolic Church in Bath Village, on Multan road was set on fire after New Year celebration in suspicious burnt copies of Bible in Victory Church, Kasur.

On 14 January, a Pakistani Christian man died while in the custody of the notoriously brutal police of Punjab in Kalaske, Gujranwala [Christians in Pakistan: 1/15/16 & 1/16/16]. On the same day, TMA worker in Sialkot was shot dead in the morning whilst cleaning the streets. Nazir Masih, a devout Pakistani Christian and father of five children, the only breadwinner was gunned down. He was struck by four bullets and despite the noise this many shots would have made in the constantly busy streets the gunman remains unknown. Four Christian girls were victimized in different areas of Punjab. Two Pakistani Christians asylum seekers died in Thailand during January.

Extremists are taking soft targets yet our government has not provided any security to churches and educational institutions in the country. Bishop Humphrey Peter said that the government did not provide any security for churches and other institutions. I have not been [able] to understand, where do we stand? What is the future of our children? Security of an individual is purely the responsibility of the govt. 

Be Blessed,
Shamim Masih

The best way to SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone - +92-300-642-4560

Correspondent, Pakistan Today - (About Pakistan Today), Blogger and Human Rights Activist
Edited by John R. Houk
All links are by the Editor. Text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

© Shamim Masih

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