India Today – Sikhs among 31 killed, 40 hurt in powerful blast in Pakistan’s northwest

The explosive material was planted in a bike in the Juma Bazar near an imambargah, a Shia religious place, in Orakzai tribal district’s Kalaya area, bordering Afghanistan.

Peshawar – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – Pakistan, 23 November 2018. At least 31 people, including three Sikhs, were killed and more than 40 others injured when a powerful bomb blast ripped through a busy market outside a religious seminary in Pakistan’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Friday (22 November ?), officials said.

The explosive material was planted in a bike in the Friday Market (Juma Bazar) near an imambargah, a Shia religious place, in Orakzai tribal district’s Kalaya area, bordering Afghanistan.

People were buying warm clothes when the bomb went off, officials said.

At least 31 people were killed while more than 40 others injured, district administration officials as saying.

“Three Sikh traders and three children were also among the dead in the Orakzai blast,” Deputy Commissioner of Orakzai Tribal district Khalid Iqbal told PTI.

Officials said that most of the victims were minority Shia Muslims, who in the past were also targeted in the area.

“Three children were among those killed. The remote-controlled bomb was attached to a motorcycle,” officials said.

The area has been cordoned off and investigation into the incident is under way.

An emergency has been declared in the region’s hospitals to handle the situation.

Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Orakzai tribal area and said: “My prayers go to the victims & their families”.

“Let there be no doubt in anyone’s mind that we will crush the terrorists, whatever it takes,” he said in a tweet.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari blamed the the US failure in Afghanistan for the attack and warned Pakistan to be prepared for more such incidents.

She condemned the horrific terror attack.

“As the US fails in Afghanistan, Pakistan should be prepared for fallout and we must ensure greater security for our tribal areas especially protection of our people,” she tweeted.

No group claimed responsibility of the attack but the Taliban militants often carry out such attacks.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police are on high alert following the Orakzai blast and a separate attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi on Friday morning.

“Our enemies are not happy with peace in the province,” provincial Chief Minister Mehmood Khan said after the attack.

It was the second attack on Friday as security forces foiled a bid by militants to enter the Chinese consulate in Karachi and killed three attackers.

In 2011, 30 people including 10 cops, were killed and over 50 injured when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden van into the building of the Communication and Works Department.

Orakzai, a terror hotbed, is one of the seven semi-autonomous tribal regions of Pakistan which has a porous border with Afghanistan.

https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/sikhs-among-31-killed-40-hurt-in-powerful-blast-in-pak-s-northwest-1394899-2018-11-23

Dawn – Two Rescue 1122 workers suspended over alleged sexual assault of Sikh girl in Nankana Sahib

Bilal Ahmed

Nankana Sahib – Panjab – Pakistan, 29 October 2018. Two Rescue 1122 workers have been suspended over their alleged involvement in the suspected sexual assault of a Sikh teenage girl at Nankana Sahib on October 27, a district emergency officer said on Monday.

The officer, Akram Panwaar, said that a high-level committee has also been created to investigate the incident and once the crime was proven, strong departmental action would be taken against the rescue officials.

According to the medico-legal examination report, no tears, bruises or laceration were found in the examination of the victims body. However, the girl will be taken to Lahore today for further tests.

The results of the tests will arrive in a minimum time frame of two months, said Investigative Officer Basharat Ali, adding that the suspects would be kept in custody on physical remand for further investigation.

According to the first information report (FIR) registered with the City Nankana Sahib police by the victim’s family, the 15-year-old girl, who was also mentally challenged, went missing on Sunday.

The family looked for her everywhere but found no trace.

At around 1:30 am, the family members of the girl found a Rescue 1122 ambulance parked by the roadside for long time which looked suspicious. When probed further, the found both the suspects committing the crime with their daughter.

The FIR added that when the victim’s family made noise, the suspects drove the ambulance away, threw the victim near a sugar mill on Nankana Road and escaped.

A spokesperson for the district police on Monday said that the suspects had been arrested after a case was registered against them in the City police station.

The spokesperson added that an investigation was being launched on the complaints of the Sikh community.

He added that all requirements to bring justice will be undertaken.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari also took notice of the incident on Sunday, saying: “Abuse of vulnerable citizens will not be tolerated. Was forwarded a case of abuse of a differently-abled Sikh girl in Nankana Sahib. FIR has been registered and the SHO informed us they have arrested two persons in the case”.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1442151/two-rescue-1122-workers-suspended-over-alleged-sexual-assault-of-sikh-girl-in-nankana-sahib