The Officers of the APPG for International Freedom of Religion or Belief are deeply concerned about the attack which took place in Parachinar, Pakistan on 23 June.
During the evening of 23 June, Turi Market was crowded with people shopping for food to break their fast with the evening Ramadan meal. At 5pm, a bomb-laden vehicle breached numerous security checkpoints to reach the market and detonate an explosion. As rescuers and bystanders rushed to help the injured, a second explosion occurred. As a result of the twin blasts, at least 72 people have been killed while many others remain in a critical condition. The attack has been claimed by Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, a terrorist outfit with known links to Daesh.
This most recent attack is the third to hit Parachinar’s markets this year. In January, 24 people were killed in an attack also claimed by Lashkar-i-Jhangvi. A second attack in a market near to Turi’s took place in March, killing 22 people. The three attacks bring Parachinar’s total loss of life due to terror to 115 this year, more than any other Pakistani city. This is a deeply troubling trend and raises serious security concerns over the wellbeing of the people of Parachinar.
Following the double bombing, which took place days before the holy Islamic festival of Eid-al-Fitr, a state of emergency has been declared in Parachinar. Protests are taking place across Islamabad against perceived government apathy, with no senior government figure having yet visited the site of the bombing.
This was a heinous act which deliberately targeted innocent Shia men, women and children. On behalf of the APPG Officers, we urge the UK Government to join others in making representations to the Government of Pakistan. We will be writing to the Pakistani High Commissioner to seek a meeting on this case.