Pak min thanks Taliban for not attacking Shias
Posted on: 11:53 AM IST Dec 07, 2011
Islamabad: Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik has thanked the Taliban for not attacking Shia Muslims during their religious rituals on Tuesday.
"I am thankful to the Taliban who did not carry out any attack on Shia Muslims and showed respect to their rituals," Malik was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
"I hope they would also remain peaceful in future, lay down arms and work together with us for the security of the country," he said.
Malik said he had appealed to the Taliban to spare the processions of Shia Muslims and that "they positively responded to my appeal. This is a good sign and I am confident that the security situation will further improve in future".
Millions of Shia Muslims across Pakistan on Tuesday commemorated the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad under unprecedented security. Thousands of paramilitary soldiers and police officials were deployed to provide security during the processions.
The Taliban have in the past carried out suicide attacks on Shia Muslims in Pakistan, but Tuesday was relatively peaceful with no major attack in any part of the country.
Two minor blasts in Karachi slightly injured four people while some rockets were fired in the northwestern city of Hangu, which injured five people.
Processions concluded peacefully across Pakistan in the evening. Walk-through gates had been put in place at all entry points of the processions and every participant was searched through detectors.
In sensitive areas, Pakistani security forces used helicopters for aerial monitoring of the processions.