The anti-Shia sentiment in Sunni-majority Pakistan has been on a drastic rise. On September 6, a shopkeeper in Kohat city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan was gunned down by an unidentified miscreant.
Reportedly, the victim has been identified as one Qaisar Abbas. He was a Shia Muslim by faith. In the CCTV footage that has gone viral on social media, an assailant barges into the store and fires shot at Abbas from a point-blank range. The victim is then collapsing on the chair while the other customers in the shop rush out for help.
CCTV footage of assassination of #Shia shopkeeper Qaisar Abbas in Kohat, KP province. No claim of responsibility yet, but the likely culprits are members of local #Deobandi militant outfits or their splinters. pic.twitter.com/M9JNShnW16— SAMRI (@SAMRIReports) September 7, 2020
While no groups have claimed responsibility for the crime, the role of local Deobandi sponsored militant outfits are suspected behind the murder. A picture of the deceased, lying on a stretcher and soaked in blood, is also doing the rounds on the internet.
Sunni extremists lead anti-Shia protests in Pakistan
On Friday, thousands of Sunni extremists hit the streets of Karachi to lead anti-Shia protests, thereby escalating tensions between the two Islamic sects and sparking fears of a series of violent events. The rally took place near the Jinnah Mausoleum, also known as Mazar-e-Quaid. The Sunni extremists were affiliated with anti-Shia groups such as Sipah-e-Sahaba and Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan.
Several videos of the said protests have come to light. In one such video, Sunni extremists atop buses can be seen waving flags and shouting Anti-Shia slogans. “Kafir, Kafir Shia Kafir (Infidels, infidels, Shia infidels)”, the demonstrators were heard as saying. In another video, Sunni extremists associated with Sipah Sahaba can be seen pelting stones at an Imambargah (congregation halls for Shia Muslims during ceremonies) during their demonstrations in Karachi.