Amnesty’s statement masks the role of the Deep State in Shia massacres in Pakistan

by admin

Amnesty's report fails to identify the role of the Deep State in Shia massacres in Pakistan.

It was amusing as well as educating to see how some urban (seemingly) liberal Pakistani tweeps and media persons uncritically recycled and reported the Amnesty and HRCP’s recent statements on the systematic and ongoing Shia massacres in Pakistan.

While I have already expressed my fellow activists’ and my views on the HRCP’s statement, the aim of this post is to analyze the Amnesty International’s recent statement.

I have now had a chance to read the Amnesty’s statement (21 September 2011) on Shia Massacres in Pakistan.

Here are some comments.

1. The Amnesty’s statement misrepresents the ongoing Shia massacres by the TTP-SSP-LeJ proxies of the Deep State (army-ISI) as ‘sectarian violence’ between Sunni and Shia, a routine law and order issue. Amnesty states: “Continued failure to address sectarian violence will only exacerbate the general breakdown in law and order in Pakistan….Armed clashes between Sunni and Shi’a militant groups have regularly occurred in past decade.” WRONG! There is no Sunni vs Shia sectarianism in Pakistan. SSP-LeJ-TTP-JeM-LeT terrorists DO NOT represent Sunnis. They represent the institution which created them, i.e., Deep State! This point has been clearly explained in the following LUBP post: Intellectual dishonesty in misrepresenting Shia massacres in Pakistan

2. Sam Zarifi of Amnesty says: “an increasing number [of vicitms] have been Shi’a pilgrims”. WRONG! Are Shia of D.I.Khan, Karachi and Kurram Agency pilgrims? Jihadi proxies of the Deep State are killing Shia Muslims indiscriminately in all places, professions, regions and events.

3. The Amnesty’s statement wrongly places the responsibility at the civilian government while knowing that the civilian government itself is a hostage to and a victim of the Deep State (e.g., murders of Benazir Bhutto, Salmaan Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti by the footsoldiers of the Deep State). Amnesty states: “These attacks prove that without an urgent and comprehensive government response, no place is safe for the Shi’a”. Government can’t do much against its own killers, Mr. Zarifi. Speak about the Deep State please!

4. “…security forces have abdicated their responsibility to defend everyone in the society”. Abdication? Pakistan’s security forces (army/ISI) are complicit to the TTP-SSP-LeJ monsters who are killing not only Shia Muslims but also Ahmadis, Christians, Barelvis and other communities.

5. Amnesty recommends “bring the perpetrators to justice in fair trials”. Of course, the Amnesty is oblivious to the institutional love affair between Pakistan’s ISI-backed judiciary and jihadi/sectarian monsters, e.g., the release of Hafiz Saeed, Malik Ishaq, Qari Saifullah Akhtar, Mullahs of the Red Mosque etc by Pakistani courts.

6. Amnesty’s statement fails to highlight the true magnitude of systematic and ongoing Shia massacres in Pakistan; it does not provide any data on the total number of Shias killed in various parts of Pakistan since 1985 or in the last five years.

To summarize, Amnesty’s statement is deficient in many respects. Most importantly it masks the ugly role played by the army and judiciary in keeping the Shia massacres alive in Pakistan.

Deflecting the criticism

In the light of recent events, it is possible to identify three deflecting tactics by some (not all) representatives of HRW, HRCP and Amnesty in Pakistan and their flatterers in reaction to our criticism of their (non-)statements. Let me summarize:

1. Definitional and technical issues: Instead of focusing on the core issue, i.e., the non-reporting or misrepresentation of the Shia massacres, they focus on the inaccuracy of the term Shia genocide. Whatever they call it, genocide or target killings or massacres, they need to collect and publish data and highlight this issue in the international media!

2. They resort to ad hominem and harassment, focusing on the persons criticizing their statements or lack of action, instead of the content of the critique. (They resort to dehumanizing as well as locating the identity of the critics with an implicit intention to put their critics in harm’s way.)

3. They resort to straw man, e.g. by eulogizing I.A. Rehman and Asma Jahangir, who were not even mentioned in our criticism of the HRCP statement, while clearly ignoring the specific criticism on recent statements and lack of action.

A comparison

I invite the researchers and defendants of Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, HRCP etc to compare their recent statements (in fact non-statements) on Shia killings in Pakistan with the bold statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) which not only provides a bigger picture of the scale of Shia massacres in Pakistan but also identifies the Deep State (army and its subsidiaries including judiciary and mullahs) as responsible for such massacres.

At the very least, Amnesty, HRW, HRCP could take some lesson and courage from the following editorial which was published in The News, a daily newspaper with known inclinations towards Pakistan’s military establishment. The editorial is clearly much more bold, honest and objective than the HRCP’s and Amnesty’s weak statements. Please read the editorial and decide yourself:

Mastung killings

Thursday, September 22, 2011

September has proven the cruellest month for the Hazara tribe in Balochistan. This Tuesday, a bus carrying Shia pilgrims to Iran was intercepted by armed men who lined up the travellers and shot 26 of them dead in cold blood in Mastung. In September last year, 65 Shias were killed in Quetta when a procession became the target of a bomb blast. This May 6, six members of the Hazara Shia community were gunned down while another seven were killed on May 18. In June a Hazara policeman was killed only two days before Olympian boxer Syed Abrar Hussain was shot dead. The list of attacks is long but only one group has claimed responsibility: Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. In the ever-deteriorating security conditions in Balochistan, sectarian outfits have found the perfect playground. The Hazara community has been the target of violence since the mid-1980s though the attacks have intensified since 2000 when their top leader Sardar Nisar Ali Hazara was gunned down in Quetta.

According to confessions of arrested LeJ activists, independent experts as well as the Hazara Shias themselves, the violence against them is not ethnic but sect-based. The Hazaras, divided between the Alamdar Road in the east and Hazara Town in the west of the city, feel cut-off and besieged in the wake of the violent attacks on them. Representatives of the Hazara Democratic Party have repeatedly informed the provincial home department and the IG police that extremists are planning to step up attacks against them. But not much action seems to have been taken. All Hazara killings during May and June this year took place only a small distance from security check posts. The LeJ has given the Hazaras an open deadline to leave the province by 2012 and has warned of further attacks. But the police have still remained helpless, leaving the Hazara community to believe that the security establishment is protecting the perpetrators. The mysterious escape of the local head of the LeJ, Usman Saifullah, and a key leader, Shafiq Rind, from a very well guarded Anti-Terrorist Force jail in Quetta Cantonment, is a case in point. A deadly pattern is emerging: terrorists are on a murderous rampage against Pakistan’s minority sects while authorities have failed to prove themselves capable of taking them on.

If a pro-establishment newspaper could publish a bold editorial highlighting the ongoing and systematic scale of the Shia massacres and the dubious role of the security forces, why could not HRCP and Amnesty highlight these issues in their formal statements? Are they incompetent or compromised? We leave this to the judgement of critical readers.

Call for action:

If you agree with this post, we invite you to read and sign this petition. Also please spread the word. Thank you.

Petition: Appeal to HRW, Amnesty, HRCP : Don’t ignore or misrepresent silent Shia genocide in Pakistan

8 Comments to “Amnesty’s statement masks the role of the Deep State in Shia massacres in Pakistan”

  1. Pakistani Shias need to migrate to India. Nobody will kill them here.

    • Bodoland/Assam, Kashmir and Khalistan (Punjab), or Ladakh might be good places to settle them. Those people can be protected by RSS Shiv Sena, and Bajrang Dal.

  2. I could not hold back my tears after reading this story. Do Mustafa Qadri, Ali Dayan, Ken Roth not have heart?

    Mastung attack: Journey to save child’s life cut horribly short
    By Muhammad Sadaqat
    Published: September 24, 2011

    An ethnic Hazara Shia is comforted by his relative after he arrived at the local hospital in Quetta, to find a family member shot dead, September 20, 2011.PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE
    Yusuf Ali was going to collect money for his son’s bone marrow transplant when he was shot dead.
    Ali, 46, was among the 26 victims of the attack on a passenger bus in Mastung that was carrying mostly Shia pilgrims to Iran. He was not one of the pilgrims, but employed in an Iranian company where his colleagues had promised to give him financial assistance for his son’s surgery.
    Ali’s youngest son, seven-year-old Hassan, has been a Thalassemia patient for two years and doctors had recently suggested a bone marrow transplant for the boy costing Rs3 million.
    “Yusuf Ali was a mechanic who was working in a Dubai- based company in Iran for the past three years,” said one of his relatives Muhammad Muneer.
    The victim was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard in a village near Mansehra on Thursday. Ali’s immediate family was not available for comment because they had not returned to Abbottabad after the burial.
    “Ali was happy when he left for Tehran and told his wife that he would return soon after arranging the money, promising that their child would soon lead a normal life,” his neighbour Riaz Ahmed told The Express Tribune.
    Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2011.

  3. Shias of Quetta alleged that many culprits escaped from prisons with the help of officials. Law enforcing agencies are sitting silent over these killings.

  4. the masses still have the delusional believes like blaming every incident to YAHOOD oo NASARA,,whenever there is any incident there is a claim by the SON OF DEMON LeJ and now a new player SAYEDUNA KHALID BIN WALID brigade,,,how i should not blame MULLAHz when the survivors say that while firing,,those people continued shouting ALLAH O AKBAR,,,and people have the brain washed concepts not watching what is actually happening,,not realizing the ground facts and like absurd mullahs quickly issue the decree for being brain washed by american concepts…moreover a point to think upon,,if you think its being done by the foreign hands,,why don’t you ponder upon the issue that those involved in this UN-ISLAMIC acts are the muslims from within the society,,not any JEW or American from USA and ISRAEL..first look into your collar,,foster your society against evil mullah and then blame others…

    Yasser Raza

  5. Mastung carnage

    Harris Khalique
    Friday, September 23, 2011

    After the Mastung carnage the other day when people were dismounted from the bus, lined up and shot, followed by attacks on the attendants of the injured and mourners of the deceased in Quetta, I am really worried about the safety and security of Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum and Allama Iqbal’s tomb.

    Twenty-nine Shia Muslims belonging to the Hazara community of Balochistan lost their lives. Many are wounded. This was not the first time. Shia Muslims in the length and breadth of Pakistan, from Gilgit to Karachi, are being targeted in general. But those belonging to the Hazara community have taken the brunt in the last few years. They are continuously threatened, attacked and killed.

    Some say that the cause of this violence against the Dari-speaking Hazaras is rooted in the conflict between the Taliban and the protégé of the erstwhile northern alliance in today’s Afghanistan. Others blame it on the proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran being waged in our country for years unending. Some also say it is the Jundullah, the separatists from Iranian Balochistan who have adopted a certain religious hue. Then the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, ingrained in the interior of Punjab but now spread all over, takes the blame.

    Without a doubt no one is spared in the killing fields of Pakistan. Sunni Muslims of different denominations are killed in their mosques, Christian churches and neighbourhoods are torched, Hindus are hounded out of Muslim areas if their children drink water from the same tap, Ahmadis are killed while saying their prayers, Pakhtuns, Baloch, Sindhis, Punjabis, Mohajirs, Seraikis, Hazarawals of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, all fight each other under the banner of different political outfits. School buses are attacked, houses and hotels are blown up, offices are ransacked, markets are bombed.

    However, Shias are being identified and killed indiscriminately for many years by no one else but their own countrymen. Be they doctors in Karachi, worshippers in Quetta, processionists in Hangu, passengers in Talagang, bystanders in Gilgit-Baltistan, they are all targeted.

    There is a newly found passion among a certain segment of Pakistanis for correcting the path our ancestors treaded and purifying our customs and rituals of any adulteration brought about by the spreading of Islam in the non-Arab world. That path is no other than the Saudi path. But something that always intrigues me is that it took the Arabs 1300 years to raze the graveyard of the family and companions of the Prophet (PBUH) in Medina to cleanse the faith from impurities.

    I would just want to come back to where I started. Why is the Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum in danger? Because Mohammed Ali Jinnah was born into a predominantly Ismaili family, got married the Shia Isna Ashri way and offered his prayers with Sunni Muslims. And something that I have shared once before about Shorish Kashmiri asking him if he was a Shia or a Sunni, to which he responded, “Was our Prophet Shia or Sunni?”

    Likewise, Iqbal says about himself in his poem Zuhd Aur Rindi (Piety and Profanity), “Suntey hain keh uss mein haiy tashayyo bhi zara sa… Tafzeel-i-Ali hum ney suni uss ki zabani (People say that there is a Shia tinge in his beliefs… He speaks of the primacy of Hazrat Ali). Iqbal’s son Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal quoted his father once, “I belong to the Ahl-i-Sunnat-Wal-Jama’at (Sunni sect) but in my view those who do not love and revere the Ahl-i-Bait (the members of the house of the Prophet) cannot be true Muslims.”

    So what do you think readers, are the resting places of the Quaid and Iqbal safe?

    The writer is an Islamabad-based poet and author. Email:

  6. From Twitter

    Laibaah Laiba Ahmad Marri
    Dear Tweeps, Pakistani or non-Pakistani, Shia or Sunni, Muslim or non-Muslim, are you satisfied with @amnesty’s statement on #ShiaMassacres? Everyone, plz let me have your feedback on @amnesty’s statement so that I could incorporate in my forthcoming post. Thanks.

    Slmn__ Suleman Akhtar
    This couldn’t be more articulated. Spot on ! @Laibaah “SSP-LeJ-TTP-JeM-LeT terrorists DO NOT represent Sunnis.”

    chiltan salma jafar
    Apparently both @amnesty and @hrw have hired researchers in Pakistan. They have no time to collect& publish data on #ShiaMassacres
    you know the ones hired by organizations like Amnesty in Pakistan who do the reporting; mostly ignorant
    I am taken aback by the so called champs of Human Rights & Democracy who who basically scratch each others back that is all; cant accept a stronger voice
    the research has to be reviewed by those in responsibility here before report is published.

    HaiderKarrar Syed Haider Karrar
    Today worst situation in #Pakistan is just because of the ppl like @alidayan except for few no one has even the basic human rights. If these ppl cant provide da basic human rights & cant stop minority killing #shiagenocide Than these are the ppl who should be charged .

  7. Amnesty International is a part of the US-led capitalist-imperialist-fascist world. It will not report facts which can hurt the Americans or their proxies such as the Pakistan Army or the Suadi Royals. This is why, Amnesty International will shield Pakistan Army’s crime. I have not heard of an Amnesty-led campaign for the Shias of Bahrain.

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