February 2 – 8, 2015

February 2: Mentally challenged man accused of blasphemy

A mentally challenged person was acquitted in a blasphemy case after the complainant and witnesses appeared retracted their statements in court.

In the acquittal order, Judge Sahir Islam observed that with the retraction of the statements, there was no basis for prosecuting Syed Safdar Hussain Shah. The complainant, Tariq Mehmood, regretted the registration of a police case against Shah whose mental disability was known to him. Express Tribune

February 3: Shrine set on fire in Mach

Unknown armed men set fire to the Ghausia Alia shrine in Mach in Balochistan. Two rooms of the shrine as well as a library of religious books were completely destroyed, while the ceiling of another room also caved in.

According to the custodian of the shrine, the assailants also left a visitor to the shrine seriously wounded after he attempted to stop them. Dawn

February 3: Grenade thrown at school in Karachi

Unknown motorcycle-bound assailants lobbed a hand-grenade at a school in Gulshan-e-Iqbal in Karachi. No loss of life or property was reported in the attack which houses a number of educational institutions. The attack follows threat by local militant extremist groups against educational facilities, and comes weeks after a gruesome assault on school children in Peshawar which left over a 130 students dead. Business Recorder

February 4: Policeman escorting polio team shot dead in Quetta

A police constable deputed for the security of anti-polio campaigners was shot dead by unknown assailants in Pashtunabad area, on the outskirts of Quetta. The slain officer, Zainullah, was attacked outside a mosque as he was leaving after offering his prayers. The attackers fled the scene after the incident. Daily Times

February 4: Man held for allegedly burning a copy of the Quran

Riots broke out in a village in Daska Tehsil after a man was accused of burning a copy of the Quran inside a mosque. Maqsood Ahmed was accused of burning a copy of the Quran kept in Haidari Mosque and later making blasphemous claims in the village chowk. The incident, which took place in the village of Hamza Kharoliyaan-Motra, led to public outrage and was assuaged after police arrested the accused man. Pakistan Today

February 4: Two polio workers injured in Sukkur

Two brothers working in a polio vaccination team were left injured after being attacked by a group of six men armed with hatchets and clubs. Saifullah and Sikandar Jamali, were administering polio drops to children in Bahadurpur village in Jacobabad when they were attacked. Dawn

February 8: School bombed in Orakzai Agency

Militants blew up a Girls Middle School in Hangu in the Orakzai Agency. The remotely detonated device demolished three classrooms, although no loss of life was reported. Militants have been regularly blowing up schools in the region, particularly those meant for local girls.Daily Times