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Frustrated with government, man turns to Taleban for help Pakistani Shiite cleric killed in reprisal attack

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Dec 16, (RTRS): Frustrated with the government’s inability to help him, a man in Pakistan has appealed to Taleban warlords to rescue his 11-year-old son kidnapped by criminals more than a month ago. “I knocked on the door of each and every government official but no one gave me justice to recover my only son,” Fareed Khan told Reuters in the volatile northwestern city of Peshawar. “Now the Taleban are my last hope. I believe they will recover my son. The Taleban are good Muslims and good human beings.

They don’t demand bribes for the provision of justice.” Most people in Pakistan’s insurgency-plagued northwestern regions live in fear of Taleban insurgents who stage frequent attacks against security forces and civilians as part of their campaign to topple central government and impose Islamist rule. Khan, 45, said he had no other choice in his quest to rescue his son, Furqan Fareed, who was kidnapped on Nov 5 in the city of Bannu. Bannu is near North Waziristan, an ethnic Pashtun region on the Afghan border where many al-Qaeda-linked Taleban fighters are based. State security forces have next to no presence there. Government officials were not available for comment. Meanwhile, a prominent Pakistani Shi’ite Muslim cleric has been shot dead in what Taleban militants said was a reprisal attack for the killing of Sunni Muslims a month ago. Sectarian violence has been on the rise in Pakistan, adding to the list of concerns for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at a time when security forces are already stretched fighting an escalating Islamist insurgency in the northwest. Allama Nasir Abbas, leader of Tehreek Nifaz Fiqah-e-Jafaria, a banned Shi’ite organisation, was shot by gunmen on a motorbike as he drove home after addressing a religious gathering in the city of Lahore on Sunday evening. “It’s a targeted attack.

The gunmen shot him from close range when he was driving home along with his driver and a friend,” Lahore police chief Chaudhry Shafeeq told Reuters. “Abbas died on the way to hospital. His driver and friend were unhurt.” The Pakistani Taleban, who are Sunni Muslim militants, claimed responsibility, saying the killing was revenge for an attack in the city of Rawalpindi in which eight Sunnis were killed a month ago during a Shi’ite procession. “We have killed this man for his direct involvement in the Rawalpindi killings,” said the a Taleban spokesman, Ahmed Ali Entiqami. “We plan to carry out more Shi’ite killings on a large scale.” In Lahore, hundreds of people gathered on Monday to offer funeral prayers of the Shi’ite cleric, paralysing traffic in Pakistan’s political and cultural capital. Shi’ite Muslims make up about 20 percent of Pakistan’s 180 million population. More than 800 Shi’ites have been killed in attacks in Pakistan since the beginning of 2012, according to Human Rights Watch.

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