Despite the performance of the last coalition government, each and every Pakistan need to appreciate and acknowledge the courage, steadfastness and bravery of ANP, MQM, PPP, Shia and women candidates who have refused to bow down to Taliban. They are standing for democracy. The are risking it for us, for Pakistan. So, keep calm and vote anti Taliban!
With clear evidence of Sipah Sahaba ASWJ militants torching Christian houses and killing them in Gojra massacre of 2009 and Lahore Joseph Colony incident of 2013, why PMLN does not give powers and orders to the Police to take preventive measures? Why PMLN relies on suspending and demoting Police officials when the failure is of administration? The only answer one can think of is PMLN’s alliance with Sipah Sahaba ASWJ. A report published in DAWN 2 June 2012 complained that PMLN is reluctant to take action on Sipah Sahaba ASWJ and LeJ militants operating in Punjab despite strong evidence available at hand. The PMLN has sold off minority blood for a few seats, for the votes of ultra-right militants. Unfortunately other parties like PPP and MQM have also been found showing closeness to Sipah Sahaba ASWJ. PPP’s Qamar Kaira in one talk show defended talks and getting support from Sipah Sahaba defending them saying “are they not Pakistani?” Well, they may but so are TTP, so were the killers of Benazir Bhutto. Would you want them in the Parliament too? The MQM also visited the Sipah Sahaba’s Karachi office. Pakistan’s mainstream political parties need to realize that Sipah Sahaba ASWJ is the name of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, TTP and Jaish-e-Muhammad . They are feeding the militants which will eventually come back at them.
A session was held in British House of Commons on 25th February 2012 where Hazara and Shia Genocide was discussed with Lord Eric Avebury. The session was called by Parliamentary Committee of Human Rights which is chaired by Lord Eric Averbury himself. The session lasted for nearly 2 hours and was attended by members and leaders of Shia community, Hazara Shia community, Sunni community, legal community and representatives from some political parties, journalists and human rights activists.
I was invited to speak on a special talkshow on Hidayat TV focused on Shia Genocide in Pakistan hosted by Tehsin Haider. Hidayat TV is a Birmingham based satellite TV channel. Others who spoke on the show include Raza Rumi, Ali Abbas Zaidi and Haider Zaman Qureshi of PPP. The recording of the program can be watched below and I highly recommend to circulate this to English speaking audience specially the overseas Pakistanis as this can serve as a good tool for campaigning on Shia Genocide, considering there is little on the issue in English talk shows.
For decades Shia Muslims have been killed in Pakistan and the issue has either been pushed under the carpet or obfuscated using blanket terms such as ‘sectarian violence’. Both the print and the electronic media have on purpose hidden the Shia identity of the victims. The victims are often reported as mere ‘afraad’ [persons] randomly killed, not targeted for their faith.
Most Pakistanis have been silent on the issue, not uttering a word as if speaking for the Shia will make them a Shia. However, they do have time and energy to protest for Palestinians, Burmese or Syrians. The civil society and activists on social media, or otherwise, hesitate to use the word Shia – apparently they condemn the bloodshed but are shy of using the word Shia, like the mainstream media. This does not help. This is rather part of the problem.
According to CIA statistics, BBC reports and other reliable estimates, Shia make up 20% of Pakistan’s population. Assuming a 200 million population of Pakistan, that makes 40 million Shia in Pakistan. Unfortunately, Pakistani Shia community has been persecuted for far too long. The first major incident of violence against Shia was recorded in 1963 when 118 Shia were butchered in Therih (Sindh) in a single day. Similarly in 1988, nearly 800 Shia were killed in a single day in Kurram Agency as General Musharraf led the operation under directions from …
Pakistan is home to 40 million Shia and 150 million moderate Sunnis. A few thousand Takfiri Deobandis have hijacked the country and Sunni identity. The silent majority should break the ice and speak on the issue. Further details of events in the future will be published later. Everyone is requested to keep raising their voice on the issue using the hash-tag #ShiaGenocide and #TakfiriDeobandi.
It was easier to maintain (shameless) ‘neutrality’ and remain silent on the issue of persecution of Shia in Pakistan in the past when media would completely blackout any news of killing of Shia; pushing it under the carpet in the name of ‘maintaining order’. Gone are those days and some sectarian fascist bloggers, in addition to some Shia social media initiatives, have highlighted the issue effectively. Considering the fact that it has become increasingly difficult over time to remain silent on the issue and not get labels like ‘ShiaPhobe’, I would like to present some helpful tips to gracefully ignore Shia Genocide. I hope these will serve you well to gracefully ignore Shia Genocide.
In the first 10 days of Muharram 2012-13, in total 51 incidents, 55 Shia were killed and more than 324 injured. There were several cases of terror plot thwarted which included suicide bombing plans, huge explosive devices and bombs planted – which could have resulted in hundreds of deaths.
According to B’tselem*, the total number of Palestinians killed by Isreal as part of this conflict since 1985 are nearly 8000. Compare that with the number of Shia killed since 1985 (the launch year of Takfiri Deobandi Sipah Sahaba) in Pakistan – that’s whooping 20,000.
Similarly, the number of Shia killed in Pakistan since 2007, only in the Parachinar region are nearly 6000. The number of Palestinians killed in this time are less than 2500.
The Takfiri message through this intimidation camapign against Shia is:
Reiterate that Shia are kaafir and spread this among the masses.
Call for a ban against Shia rituals and demand to restrict them to Imam Bargahs.
Demand an end to the protection and security offered by state to the Shia during Muharram rituals.
Hate speech and incitement to violence with the usual excuse of abusing Sahaba.
Making use of a ‘Sahaba Abuse HOTLINE’ and respond with intomidation through violence or blasphemy cases.
Make the days associated with Sahaba more popular and commemorate them on the same lines as Shia commemorates Muharaam; however, conveniently calling Shia kaafir doing so.
Demand public holidays for days associated with Sahaba, but actually asking to remove the holidays associated with Ashura.
Being Shia in Pakistan: A personal experience
Pakistan is home to a large Shia community, second only to Iran but if you are born in the community, you sure have landed in the wrong place. I was born Shia in Pakistan in 1984 and a year later, the state decided to turn the informal violence against the Shia – ever present courtesy the exclusivist national ideology which is inherently anti-Shia – into an official slow genocide.
My earliest memories of you-don’t-belong-here feeling are from early school days in a small semi-urban town …