Pakistan’s interior minister thanked his disaffected Taliban brothers for not killing any Shiites on their festival day:
Speaking to reporters in the capital, Islamabad, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said he had appealed to the Taliban to “respect” the Shiite observances and “I want to thank them for doing that.”
It was unclear whether Malik, who has a history of making controversial, insensitive or wrong statements, was referring to a formal appeal to the Taliban. He has previously denied the reports of peace talks with the group. The government’s official line is that it will talk to any militant outfit if it renounces violence and lays down its arms.
The Pakistani Taliban and allied groups have claimed responsibility for hundreds of suicide bombings over the last five years that have killed thousands as part of a campaign to replace the secular government with a hard-line Islamist one. They regard Shiites as infidels, and believe killing them is a religious obligation.
The Pakistani Taliban over in Afghanistan were not quite so sensitive to diversity:
A Pakistan-based extremist group claimed responsibility for a series of coordinated bombings aimed at Afghan Shiites on Tuesday, in what many feared was an attempt to further destabilize Afghanistan by adding a new dimension of strife to a country that, though battered by a decade of war, has been free of sectarian conflict.
The attacks, among the war’s deadliest, struck three Afghan cities — Kabul, Kandahar and Mazar-i-Sharif — almost simultaneously and killed at least 63 Shiite worshipers on Ashura, which marks the death of Shiite Islam’s holiest martyr.
Targeted strikes by Sunnis against the minority Shiites are alien to Afghanistan. So it was no surprise to Afghans when responsibility was claimed by a Sunni extremist group from Pakistan, where Sunnis and Shiites have been energetically killing one another for decades.
Pakistani’s killing Afghans apparently forms no part of Mr. Malik’s concerns.
He is the interior minister, after all.