As usual, the ISI and JI dominated Pakistani media is distorting the fact. The Kohat attack today was clearly sectarian, aimed at a bus carrying passengers, most of them Shia but also some moderate Sunnis, who were travelling to the nearby tribal district of Orakzai, where Pakistan has encouraged displaced civilians to return after an anti-Taliban offensive.
According to daily Dawn:
A teenage suicide bomber killed 19 people at a busy Pakistani bus terminal on Wednesday, the third attack in three days as the country stepped up security for the holy month of Muharram.
The bomber blew himself up in Kohat, home to at least half a million people and one of the main garrisons for the Pakistan military, in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“It was a suicide blast. The death toll has risen to 17,” Kohat police chief Dilawar Bangash told AFP, adding that 25 others were wounded, seven of them seriously. (Death toll has risen to 19: DawnNews)
Police said the bomber blew himself up at the door of a bus carrying passengers to the nearby tribal district of Orakzai, where Pakistan has encouraged displaced civilians to return after an anti-Taliban offensive.
“We have found the head and legs of the suicide bomber,” said Bangash. The bus terminal is in Tirah bazaar, the main market in the town.
The attack coincided with the start of Muharram, which traditionally sees tensions rise between Pakistan’s majority Sunni Muslim and minority Shia Muslim community.
“It is true there were more Shias killed in the attack but there were a number of Sunnis also who died in the blast. So we cannot say who was the target,” said Bangash, adding the suicide bomber was aged 15 to 16.
Almost all Shia Muslims and moderate Sunni Muslims dislike extremist Deobandis of Taliban because of the latter’s intolerant (un)Islamic ideology and violent tactics. Therefore, extremist Deobandis consider it legitimate to kill Shia and moderate Sunni Muslims.
The attack occurred on the first day of the Islamic month of muharram, which often sees attacks by extremist Deobandi groups on minority Shia Muslims.
Last December, a suicide bomber blew up a Shia Muslim procession in Karachi killing 25 people. Such attacks have prompted the security agencies to take extra measures during the Muharram rituals December 8-17.
The Taliban and affiliated organisations like Sipah-e-Sahaba, Laskhar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Jundullah pose severe threats to Shias and moderate Sunnis during Muharam.
Sunnis and Shias: United against extremist Deobandi terrorists
“On Sunday, an agreement between the Shia and Sunni sects in Orakzai Agency facilitated the opening of roads that remained closed for the past five years,” Abdul Sami Paracha, a journalist in Kohat, told Central Asia Online. In other areas, similar agreements bind both sects to remain peaceful during Muharram, he said. Under the agreements, the representatives of the sects would ensure peace during Muharram by taking measures through mutual consultations. Committees have been formed in different districts that would ensure that the people stay away from businesses during Muharram’s processions,” Maulana Zahoorullah, a member of a Peshawar-based committee tasked to maintain peace in Muharram, said. The committees were formed to ensure that people close their businesses to respect Muharram. (Source)
Extremist Deobandis (of Taliban / Sipah-e-Sahaba) are indeed interested in sabotaging any sign of unity between moderate Sunnis and Shias.