Pakistan: death penalty in slaying of Sufi singer

Pakistan Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on April 2 approved the death penalty for 10 condemned militants, including those convicted in the 2016 slaying of Amjad Sabri, one of the country's most revered singers of qawwalii, traditional Sufi devotional music. The accused, who were tried by special military courts, were held responsibile in a total of 62 deaths, also including those at the 2009 bombing of Peshawar's Pearl Continental Hotel. Sabri, 45, was on his way to a televised Ramadan performance in Karachi when his car was attacked. He was the son of renowned qawwal Ghulam Farid Sabri of the Chishti Sufi order, who was himself honored this week across Pakistan and India on the 24th anniversary of his death.. Amjad Sabri's widow, Nadia Sabri, said she could not understand why her husband was killed. “He was a man who praised Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him),” she said. The Hakimullah Masood faction of Tehreek-e-Taliban claimed responsibility for the assassination of Sabri. (UrduPoint, April 5; PTI, Samaa, April 2)

Attacks on Sufis have continued in Pakistan snce the slaying of Amjad Sabri. Almost exactly a year ago, 20 people were hacked and clubbed to death after being tortured at the shrine to Mohammad Ali Gujjar in Punjab province. The custodian of the shrine was arrested in the attack, and it was portrayed as an internecine dispute. But the attack came only days after 24 worshippers were killed at a Shi'ite mosque in Parachinar, in a suicide attack claimed by the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar faction of the Pakistani Taliban. Parachinar, in the Tribal Areas, has seen repeated attacks on Shi'ites and on secularists alike. And last February, 88 people were killed and hundreds wounded in a suicide bomber attack among devotees at the shrine to Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, Sindh province.. (The Guardian, April 2, 2017)

Photo via PTI