MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS Senator the Hon. Bob Carr
ATTACKS IN PAKISTAN
March 17, 2013
The Australian Government has renewed calls for action to protect communities in Pakistan from extremist elements following attacks on markets, mosques and homes in Quetta, Karachi, Lahore and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since January 10 this year.
“All Australians would be appalled at the barbarism involved in attacking innocent civilians going about their lives,” Senator Carr said.
“I’m advised there have been at least five such attacks in the last three months, killing more than 200 people
“Our High Commissioner Mr Peter Heyward, has again raised Australia’s concerns in talks with Government officials in Pakistan.”
Senator Carr said he had he had also spoken with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Ms Hina Rabbani Khar on February 26 to offer condolences for victims of the attacks, and to urge swift action to identify and arrest those responsible.
“Australia has applauded Pakistan’s efforts to prevent further attacks on religious and ethnic minorities but will continue to urge further action while the perpetrators remain at large,” Senator Carr said.
Attacks apparently targeting civilians of particular ethnic or religious backgrounds include bombings in the mainly Hazara community of Quetta on January 10 and February 16, killing more than 160 people and injuring around 300.
On March 3, twin explosions targeting the Shi’a community in Karachi, killed at least 45 and injured 150. On March 9 attacks against the Christian community in Lahore destroyed more than 150 homes and a bomb inside the Barelvi (Sunni) Mosque in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa killed four and injured 25. There are also reports of persecution of members of the Ahmadi community.