Pakistani human rights activists including Shia activists have rejected a very weak, formal statement by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on the Mastung massacre, which:
- fails to name and condemn the Deep State for its institutional support to the SSP-TTP footsoldiers who are killing Shia Muslims and other minority communities in Pakistan.
- wrongly presents the ongoing Shia massacres by the SSP-TTP proxies of the deep state as a routine Sunni-Shia sectarianism.
- fails to provide a bigger picture of the ongoing Shia massacres which are currently taking place in Parachinar, D.I.Khan, Karachi, Quetta and elsewhere.
- does not provide exact statistics on Shia killings in Pakistan in recent years.
One wonders why doesn’t Zohra Yusuf and her colleagues in HRCP show some courage and integrity by modelling the bold and honest statement which was issued today by the Asian Human Rights Commission on the ongoing Shia massacres in Pakistan highlighting the complicity of Pakistan army and judiciary.
Lack of action emboldened sectarian killers: HRCP
Date:21 September 2011
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has slammed the killing of at least 29 Shia pilgrims in Tuesday’s attack on their bus near Mastung
Lahore, September 21: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has slammed the killing of at least 29 Shia pilgrims in Tuesday’s attack on their bus near Mastung, calling the absence of security for them outrageous and adding that the killers had been emboldened by a persistent lack of action against sectarian militant groups.
A statement by the Commission said on Wednesday: “HRCP is appalled by the gruesome killing of Shia pilgrims near Mastung and finds the utter lack of protection for them outrageous, particularly when pilgrims travelling in the area had been attacked previously and were known to be at risk. HRCP is equally shocked by the official line that the authorities were not given prior intimation about the pilgrims’ bus. How convenient that instead of finding those who failed to perform their duty, the victims have been blamed. This just adds insult to injury. What good are the checkpoints set up everywhere if they cannot even find out if a vehicle using the road needs additional security? [Will the HRCP explain why it has failed to document and publish data on Shia massacres which are on going since 1988 in various parts of Pakistan including but not limited to recent massacres in Dear Ismail Khan, Parachinar, Quetta and Karachi?]
Tuesday’s attack is a failure on many levels and exposes once again the diminishing writ of the state. HRCP believes that continued sectarian bloodshed across the country, particularly in Balochistan, is a direct consequence of the authorities’ perpetual failure to take note of sectarian killings in Quetta which have been going on for many years. It is difficult to comprehend why no action has been taken against the banned militant group that has claimed responsibility for this ghastly attack and for numerous sectarian killings earlier. How do they still manage to roam free with their weapons and vehicles? [Is it a matter of authorities’ failure to take note of sectarian killings or does this relate to the institutional support available to LeT, JeM, LeJ and other jiahdi / sectarian organizations by the Deep State? What about the release of known terrorists such as Malik Ishaq, Hafiz Saeed, Qari Saifullah Akhtar by the ISI-backed Supreme Court?]
The official condemnations that have followed the attack give little comfort to the bereaved families and no one buys the oft-repeated vows of action which never materialise. [Is this very statement which comprises only half truths about the nature of threat to Shia Muslims and other minority communities really comforting?] There is a complete breakdown of writ of the state with the citizens finding themselves increasingly on their own. We fear that the utter lack of competence and inability to adequately respond to the security situation is bound to contribute to further bloodshed. The government must move beyond rhetoric and its current casual and reactive approach to law and order challenges and start functioning as a responsible authority.”
[Thanks, Zohra, but no thanks!]
Reaction of Pakistani Shias and rights activists to Shia massacres
The Pakistani government came under heavy criticism from Shia Muslims and rights activists on Wednesday after 29 people died in the worst attacks on the Shia minority for a year. Angry Shia Muslims observed a strike in Balochistan”s provincial capital Quetta today to protest the massacre of 29 members of the minority community by militants even as a top Pakistani rights watchdog said the killings had exposed the “the diminishing writ of the state”.The strike was observed in Shia-dominated areas of the southwestern city of Quetta, including Hazara Town, Ali Town, Alamdar Road and Marriabad. Markets and shops remained closed and traffic was thin on roads in these areas. Hundreds of people, including women and children, staged demonstrations and took out rallies to protest the killing of 29 Shias at Mastung, 40 km from Quetta, yesterday.Twenty-six Shia pilgrims travelling to Iran were forced out of a bus by militants and lined up before being shot.Gunmen subsequently targeted another group of Shias travelling to retrieve bodies on the outskirts of Quetta and killed three men.The banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the attack on the bus in calls to the media in Quetta.These were the deadliest attacks on Shias in Pakistan since September 4 last year, when a suicide bomber killed 57 people at a rally in Quetta. (Source)
22 buried in Hazara Town: Twenty-two pilgrims who were killed in the attack were buried at the Hazara Town graveyard in Quetta today. A large number of people attended the burial, which was followed by a protest to condemn the incident and demand the immediate arrest of the culprits. Out of the 26 killed, 22 belonged to Quetta, two were from Loralai and two from Afghanistan. The bodies of those belonging to Loralai and Afghanistan have been sent to their respective areas. The Shia community in Balochistan came under attack when 29 people were killed in two separate, targeted incidents claimed by banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
At least 26 people were killed and six others injured in Ganjidori area of Mastung, about 30 kilometres southeast of Quetta, when a group of armed men attacked a passenger bus carrying Shia pilgrims from Quetta to Iran. Hours later, three more people, hailing from the Hazara community, were gunned down near Akhtarabad area of Quetta as their rescue team made its way to the site of the bus attack. Two others were also shot. (Source)