The custodian of the shrine, Abdul Waheed, called worshipers to attend the shrine on the edge of the town of Sargodha. He then set upon them with several accomplices, local police Deputy-Commissioner Liaqat Ali Chattha told the media.
“As they kept arriving, they were torturing and murdering them,” he said to GeoTV.
Police arrested custodian Waheed, but he claimed he attacked the worshipers since he believed they were going to kill him.
“Waheed told police that he killed the people because they had tried to kill him by poisoning him in the past, and again they were there to kill him,” Zulfiqar Hameed, regional police officer for Sargodha toldReuters.
Pakistan has seen a number of recent assaults on Sufis, who practice a mystical tradition of Islam regarded as heretical by extremists, in recent months.
ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack in February which killed 88 and injured hundreds more.
Pakistan’s military said it killed over 100 terrorists in response to the attack.
Yet despite the persecution faced by Sufis and other minorities, the Pakistani government offers little succor. Last weekend, the government forced the cancellation of an international peace conference which would have brought together activists and politicians to speak about how to move forward and live in harmony. The government cited “security concerns” as the reason for shutting down the conference.