The Friday Times misrepresents the suffering of Pakistan’s Shias and Ahmadis

by admin

We are very disappointed to see misrepresentation of Shia genocide in Pakistan in at least four articles in the current issue of The Friday Times (March 02-08, 2012 – Vol. XXIV, No. 03).

Clearly, authors and editors at TFT have taken lead from their Editor in Chief Najam Sethi who himself was found misrepresenting Shia genocide in Pakistan only a few days ago on Geo TV’s Aapas Ki Baat (Talk Show). The details can be read at the following link: http://criticalppp.com/archives/73439

In addition to misinterpreting and misrepresenting the anti-Ahmadiyya legislation at least in one article by Raza Rumi (discussed next), TFT also published a misleading piece by Saleem Javed on Hazara persecution in the same issue.

Saleem Javed’s article misrepresents Shia persecution and genocide as an ethnic one and misquotes the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ)’s warning to Shia Muslims across Pakistan by confining it to Hazara Shias only. This is what the author wrote: “Banned militant outfits have threatened to make Pakistan “a graveyard for the Shia Hazaras” and have asked them to leave the country by 2012.” Of course, the author carefully hid the fact that the LeJ’s warning is explicitly against all Shia Muslims of Pakistan and that LeJ is a sectarian, not an ethnic, terrorist organization.

The article is very implicative particularly when it refers to Sariab Road to give it Hazara vs Baloch ethnic colour. (Previously, TFT published another misleading article on this topic in which Khaled Ahmed presented false binaries of Hazara Shias and Pasthun Taliban.)

ASWJ-SSP terrorists often stereotype Pakistan's Shias as Iranian agents to justify their genocide.

Saleem Javed’s article also has a very serious charge against Iran. The author writes: “In a single incident in 1998, Iranian forces killed more than 630 refugees, mostly Hazaras, in the Safed Sang Camp detention center.” This charge, however, has not been substantiated. Is there any statement by any human rights group (HRW, Amnesty) or United Nations to support this allegation? We have many complaints against Iranian theocracy, yet this is a very serious charge published by The Friday Times without any proof. If this charge remains unsubstantiated, it will show that the TFT has conveniently recycled and spread the Saudi-ISI inspired propaganda.

Iran is an excuse to spread further hatred against Pakistani Shias. Defaming Iran legitimatises Shia killing in Pakistan SSP-ASWJ does that. Now TFT!

Pakistani Shias are routinely stereotyped by SSP-ASWJ-Taliban and ISI-touts (Ejaz Haider etc) as Iranian agents. In fact, SSP-ASWJ leader Ludhianvi describes his participation in Difa-e-Pakistan as Difa against USA, India and Iran. Iranian connection or label is then used to misrepresent Shia genocide in Pakistan as a proxy-war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Iranian label is also used to reinforce othering and hatred against Pakistani Shias. This leads to further target killing. Saddam used to do that, by describing and ridiculing Iraqi Shias as Iranian agents. Same tactic is used by autocratic anti-Shia regimes in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait etc. Ejaz Haider used the same technique in an Express Tribune article in 2011 to justify the target killing of Shia Hazaras in Quetta by painting them as Iranian stooges. Now, The Friday Times has done the same by blaming Iran to be responsible for the murder of 630 Hazaras which has two effects. It dishonestly highlights the ethnic nature of Hazara genocide in Balochistan which is anything but true. Further, it throws bad light on Iran and by stereotypical association on Pakistani Shias, thus obfuscating and justifying their genocide.

We encourage TFT editors to understand that certain agents of Pakistan’s military establishment have been tasked to distort and misrepresent the Shia genocide to give it an ethnic colour. For example, the following article explains how such agents work: https://pakistanblogzine.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/abdul-khaliq-hazara-and-the-ethnic-cleansing-narrative-by-marya-mushtaq/

Also please refer to the list of non-Hazara Shia Muslims killed by SSP-LeJ-Taliban in Balochistan to understand that Shia genocide is not an ethnic issue: http://criticalppp.com/archives/64797

Do TFT editors know what’s common in Shia Pashtuns, Shia Hazaras, Shia Punjabis, Shia Muhajirs, Shia Saraikis, Shia Sindhis, Shia Balochs etc? Have they read the SSP-LeJ’s fatwa against Shia Muslims, particularly those of Parachinar and Quetta?

Ali Chishti’s article (The Al Qaeda connection) is relatively better because it not only highlights the target killing of Shia Muslims by ASWJ-SSP terrorists but also shows that a large number of moderate Sunni Barelvis too have been killed by the same group of extremist Deobandi terrorists. However, Chishti needs to clearly highlight the fact that Shia genocide is being enabled by a military state which supports Jihadi-sectarian militant groups of extremist Deobandis. He needs to stay away from the sectarian violence or sectarian fault-lines discourse which is both misleading and obfuscating. He also needs to acknowledge that a significant number of non-Hazara Shias too have been killed in Balochistan for their Shia beliefs.

In the same issue, TFT also published an article by Zia Ur Rehman, titled ‘Battle for Kurram’. The article presents false neutrality between well documented ISI-Taliban-ASWJ’s blockade and genocide of Shia Muslims of Parachinar (Toori Pashtus) with Shias’ legitimate defence to save their lives, honour and property from the army-backed Haqqani Taliban (and their Punjabi ASWJ-SSP supporters). The article also uncritically recycles ISI-esque propaganda about an imaginary Shia terrorist group Haideri Taliban.

The only known Shia militant group is the Mehdi Militia (sometimes called the Haideri Taliban), consisting mainly of Turi tribesmen. “The group has large public support among Shias in Kurram and is concentrated in the upper Kurram area of Parchinar and Ziayran,” according to a report published by Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS). Their opponents say the group is supported by allies in Iran and Afghanistan.

Did you notice the dirty word “Iran” again to justify and obfuscate Shia genocide in Kurram? Recently, Jang Group too published the same ISI-esque propaganda about Haideri Taliban by holding the group responsible for a recent bomb attack on a bus station in Peshawar. Upon strong protestations by Shia and other rights activists, Jang retracted the ill-intended report and rendered an apology, which can be read here: https://pakistanblogzine.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/jang-group-the-news-retracts-its-isi-inspired-report-on-haideri-taliban/

In his article in the current issue (Violent Sectarianism), Raza Rumi refers to vague terminology, sectarian violence or sectarianism. This is how Rumi presents a simplistic and inaccurate account of Shia genocide in Pakistan:

The recent rise in sectarian killings, for instance, is a continuation of the trends already gathering pace in Pakistani society from the 1980s. They indicate the growing retreat or failure of state and law enforcement agencies against the expanding power of militant groups that deploy guerrilla tactics to achieve their goals. Sectarianism in its contemporary manifestation, therefore, cannot be delinked from the larger growth of Pakistan-based terror groups and their alliance with the global Jihadist project negotiated by the loose conglomerate known as Al Qaeda.

Clearly, Rumi does not recognize that more than the failure of state and law enforcement agencies, it is the active support of Pakistani state (read Pakistan army) to anti-Shia Jihadi-sectarian groups which is enabling an ongoing and systematic Shia genocide. More than Al Qaeda or Taliban, the blame rests with those who created, mentored and treated AQ, Taliban and other Jihadi-sectarian organizations as their strategic assets!

Rumi refers to Muhammad Amir Rana’s vague data related to sectarian violence and fails to provide any statistics at all in terms of total number of Shia Muslims killed in 2011 or in previous years.

One line comment on Rumi’s article is this placard in Urdu in a recent Shia protest against genocide: http://www.dardistantimes.com/sites/default/files/story_images/Gilgit-Kohistan-18-Shot.jpg which clearly describes that Pakistan army’s Jihadist policies are responsible for systematic and ongoing target killing of Shia Muslims in Pakistan.

What’s common in Najam Sethi, Hamid Mir and Raza Rumi: All three of them describe Shia genocide as sectarian violence!

Almost all of the articles published on Shia genocide in the current issue of the TFT refer to vague and false neutral terms: sectarian fault lines, sectarian violence, sectarianism. This is utter non-sense. It is now amply documented and established that Shia genocide by ISI-sponsored ASWJ-SSP-Taliban terrorists must not be misrepresented as sectarian violence. It is well established that majority of peaceful Sunnis reject and disown ASWJ-SSP terrorists. Therefore, presenting Shia genocide as sectarian violence is an intellectual dishonesty. In a similar vein of dishonesty, media used to call frequent ambush of Talibans on Shias of Parachinar, Hangu and DI khan as “Tribal feud”.

We encourage TFT editors and other media persons to read Saroop Ijaz’s bold and clear article on Express Tribune (4 March 2012) on this topic. Saroop writes:

The Shia Muslims are being systematically murdered in Pakistan. Use the word ‘genocide’ and people would begin to protest and bring forth the dustiest of legal definitions. ‘Ethnic cleansing’ is slightly less contentious and is now occasionally being used in the case of the Hazara and other Shia. Reflect on the full import of the term for a moment, it has the implication that some people are merely filth and murder is a way to cleanse the impurity. Repulsive thoughts; are they not, but this is the mindset that is plainly looking us in the face. It is not ‘sectarian strife’ or ‘conflict’, since that would presume the existence of at least two parties with a semblance of parity. The euphemisms would be silly and disingenuous at all times, but what makes them wicked is that it is either fear or prejudice which leads to their usage. To admit or be open to the possibility that the Shia are being slaughtered through an orchestrated scheme, in a country with the second-highest Shia population in the world is to be open to the realisation of just how deep the rot has spread.

Apparently, by painting Shia genocide as routine sectarian violence (barring a few one line caveats here and there), the current issue of The Friday Times serves to deflect the responsibility of Shia genocide in Pakistan from the real killers: i.e., Pakistan army, which has recently enabled further Shia genocide through the tacit support to the Difa-e-Pakistan Council comprising anti-Shia Jihadi-sectarian terrorists.

More than one authors in TFT’s current issue have cited research by Muhammad Amir Rana, director at Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) to provide a flawed and dishonest account of Shia genocide in Pakistan. Of course the terminology used by Rana himself is vague, sectarian violence, and that’s not without a purpose. Rana does not provide the exact data on total number of Shias killed and lumps up all deaths in one block and one terminology. His sense of history is as flawed as that of other proxies of Pakistan’s military establishment. Here is a sample of Rana’s research reported in Shahzad Raza’s article in TFT:

According to PIPS statistics, 314 people were killed in 111 sectarian related incidents of violence in 2011. The advent of violent sectarianism in Punjab, Rana recalls, dates back to the assassination of Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, a Deobandi religious leader from the district of Jhang. A killing spree that began in reaction still continues in one way or the other.

The above paragraph shows how intensity and scale of Shia genocide is covered up. For example, refer to this vague line: “314 people were killed in 111 sectarian related incidents of violence in 2011.” Now compare this to the Amnesty International’s clear data (revealed on Twitter by Mustafa Qadri of Amnesty) that at least 276 Shia Muslims were target killed in 2011 in Pakistan, this figure does not include many other deaths which remain unreported or unverified. Do you see the difference?

Also any researcher who dates back Shia genocide to SSP’s terrorist leader Haq Nawaz Jhangvi’s death is either dishonest (a sold out soul) or incompetent. Where will Rana hide the fact that the systematic genocide of Shia Muslims in Pakistan started in Therhi, Khairpur (Sindh) when at least 118 Shia Muslims were butchered by armed Deobandis on 6 June 1963 during the rule of Pakistan’s first military dictator General Ayub Khan? Where will he hide the fact that the recent wave of violence and target killing started in the aftermath of Saudi-funded, ISI-handled recruitment and training of Jihadi-sectarian militants for the so called Jihad in Afghanistan and Kashmir?

This is how TFT resorts to false neutrality to justify and obfuscate Shia genocide: “What we have seen recently is the ruthless targeting of Shia doctors,” Rana says. “In response, Shia groups kill lawyers and leaders of their rival groups.” (Shahzad Raza cites Muhammad Amir Rana).

Really? Would Rana compare Hamas’s violence to the Stat atrocities by Israel against Palestinians? Would he also compare and equate Kashmiri militants struggle with the disproportionately violent response by the Indian State? Can a few, very few acts of violence or resistance by Shia Muslims against ASWJ-SSP militants be equated with the State-sponsored Jihadi-sectarian groups’ violence against Shias? Are Shia Muslims indiscriminately targeting Sunni Muslims the way they are being indiscriminately killed by SSP-ASWJ-Taliban terrorists in their Muharram processions, mosques, markets and offices? Apparently, these questions do not mean much for TFT editors!

The current issue of TFT is a sombre reminder that Pakistani media is an accomplice to genocide of Shias and other persecuted and target killed groups in Pakistan.

We want to assert that Hazras are killed because they are Shia not because they are Hazras. Any attempt to hide the Shia identity in turn hides the real motives of the LeJ-SSP killers and enables further Shia genocide. Moreover, those who are killing Shia Muslims in Pakistan don’t represent Sunnis. This is not sectarian violence. This is ISI-sponsored terrorism.

We hope TFT will stop publishing propaganda which gives Shia persecution and target killing an ethnic color. Similarly, anyone who describes target killing of Shia Muslims in Pakistan as a routine sectarian violence contributes to misrepresentation of Shia genocide by the ISI-sponsored Jihadi-sectarian militants.

We will welcome all genuinely representative research on Shias, Ahmadis and other oppressed groups and urge Pakistan’s urban elites, including those in English language media, to consider engaging with genuine Shia, Ahmadi, Baloch, Pashtun activists before writing “on” them?

Ahmadiyya Muslims’ reaction:

Ahmadis on Twitter have strongly reacted to misinterpretation and misrepresentation of the anti-Ahmadi legislation at least in one article (by Raza Rumi) in the current issue of TFT. Raza Rumi writes with respect to second amendment in Pakistan’s constitution: “The amendment did not explicitly mention the Ahmadi community and has been used by hardliner Sunni clerics to also target the Shia community in Pakistan.”

Here are a few comments from Twitter:

Wasif ‏ @wasifsa
Never was the 2nd Amendment in Pakistan’s constitution used by the State of Sunni clerics against Shia Muslims as claimed by Raza Rumi in his TFT article. The article serves to save the strategic assets of the Army aka LeJ and blame it on legislation for Shia Killing

The article presents the author as a supporter of the status quo, and the misrepresentation of second amendment is tantamount to hijacking the Ahmadi cause

Two major English media groups today published dishonest reports/articles against Ahmadiyya Community! Sheep in wolf’s clothing!

Mr. Raza Rumi writes that the second amendment was used against Shia Muslims and Ahmadis were not the only target. This is factually wrong. Very very deplorable stance. Author must have read the Law himself before scribbling!

The second amendment is specifically anti-Ahmadis. It has nothing to do with or against Shia Muslims. Shia Muslims are being targeted by the Strategic Assets of the Pakistani Punjabi Army, not by the second amendment.

Will @AhmadiyyaTimes @Al_Ufaq #PakistanBlogzine, #LUBP and #FridayTimes publish an article against this dishonesty twitpic.com/8qy2yq

Text of Second Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan. “A person who does not believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of The Prophethood of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), the last of the Prophets or claims to be a Prophet, in any sense of the word or of any description whatsoever, after Muhammad (Peace be upon him), or recognizes such a claimant as a Prophet or religious reformer, is not a Muslim for the purposes of the Constitution or law.”

Naeem Shamim ‏ @naeemshamim
Misrepresentation of #ShiaKillings and using the Ahmadi Persecution pedestal for it is a shameless act!

Sohaib Mengal Baloch ‏ @MirSohaib
@najamsethi justified kill and dump in Balochistan in his last night’s show. Calls it national interest.

Naeem Shamim ‏ @naeemshamim
@MirSohaib @najamsethi and this morning published a piece in his TFT magazine that is full of lies

Selective Morality is the common heritage of all Fake Liberals of Pakistan!

Blame the Shia killings on a law that is purely against Ahmadis and save the Army’s Strategic Assets! That’s Raza Rumi’s Logic?

Instead of naming the true killers of the Shia, TFT tried to hijack the Ahmadi Persecution cause

Mullahs in the Urdu Print/Electronic media , Mullah-like creatures in the English media!

Raza Rumi has let many of us down today! Now thats what makes the so called intelligentsia of the Islami Jamhooriya!

The Friday Times must publish an apology for this blunder! Must not allow such nonsense to get published

Update: We appreciate the fact that Raza Rumi has revised his article by amending/inserting the following line: “The amendment explicitly targetted the Ahmadi community but has also been used by hardliner Sunni clerics to target the Shia community in Pakistan.” We, however, look forward to Ahmadi Muslims response to this editing. At the same time, we stand by our concerns about grave misrepresentation of Shia genocide in numerous articles the current issue of TFT.

28 Responses to “The Friday Times misrepresents the suffering of Pakistan’s Shias and Ahmadis”

  1. Raza Rumi has a point, in fact THE point in his piece. If you read Ahmadi literature or discuss with Ahmadis they never contest finality of the prophet-hood for the Prophet PBUH, they say Mirza Ahmad Qadiani is the promised messiah/Jesus not the prophet after last prophet, although bit confusing but let’s accept what they say. The second amendment is exactly saying this thing that there can be no prophet after the prophet PBUH. Mullahs used this promised messiah concept against Ahmadis so they were declared Kafirs, right or wrong we are not discussing it here.

    Now how Shias are affected by the amendment, in fact Shia belief of 12 Imams was exaggerated by mullahs as prophet-hood after the prphet PBUH, so they get affected by their interpretation but not directly targeted. So Raza Rumi is right in saying that the amendement is not explicitly against Ahmadis but Shias are also affected by it.

    What is incomprehensible is the blogger’s argument that how combining another maligned group affects Ahmadis, although Shia may protest that they are being made in line with the ones who in some way dispute finality of prophet-hood.

  2. Archive

    TFT CURRENT ISSUE| March 02-08, 2012 – Vol. XXIV, No. 03

    Self-inflicted wounds?
    By Shahzad Raza
    Sectarian violence

    Analysts say the rise of sectarian violence in Pakistan is linked to the state-sponsored militarization of the society during the Afghan war in the 1980s

    Because of blood that was spilled 1400 years ago, the history of Islam is marred with the killing of thousands of Muslims over sectarian differences.

    Most modern states deal with sectarianism with stern use of state force and by creating social and economic opportunities for all their citizens. Pakistan struggles on both counts.

    Sectarian violence has continued unabated since the 1980s when military dictator Gen Ziaul Haq decided to “Islamize” Pakistan. The political regimes in 1990s surrendered before the merchants of death. For them, the issue was too sensitive to be touched at the cost of popular support. It was another military dictator who tried to stop sectarian violence. The move did win Pervez Musharraf international support, but he did not address the root cause of the problem. Sectarian groups that were banned by the Musharraf regime are now operating under new names.

    Sectarianism in Pakistan is a dynamic phenomenon, and it always finds new battlegrounds, new recruits and new targets. The spectre now haunts urban Sindh and Balochistan.

    A recent report by Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) says Karachi was worst hit by sectarian terrorism in 2011, with 36 attacks in which 58 people died. “Karachi, Quetta and Kurram (Agency) have been the most troubled areas in the last few years,” says Muhammad Amir Rana, director at PIPS.

    Rana works closely with local and foreign experts to develop an understanding of otherwise oversimplified sectarian issues in Pakistan. His organisation collects data on sectarian clashes, attacks and killings, and uses it to formulate various sets of analysis. According to PIPS statistics, 314 people were killed in 111 sectarian related incidents of violence in 2011.

    The advent of violent sectarianism in Punjab, Rana recalls, dates back to the assassination of Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, a Deobandi religious leader from the district of Jhang. A killing spree that began in reaction still continues in one way or the other.

    Deobandi groups are better trained and more experienced because of their involvement in the Afghan war, they are financially and logistically stronger, and have a large supply of fresh recruits from a large number of unregistered madrassas, and can carry out suicide attacks, according to the PIPS director. Shia groups have little resources and usually resort to target killings, and very occasionally, car bombs.

    “What we have seen recently is the ruthless targeting of Shia doctors,” Rana says. “In response, Shia groups kill lawyers and leaders of their rival groups.”

    The recent PIPS report also discusses the situation in Balochistan, where there has been unprecedented violence against the Shia Hazara community, in the form of targeted killings and attacks on buses carrying pilgrims or daily commuters.

    Analysts link the rise of sectarianism to state-sponsored systematic radicalization of the society during the Afghan war of the 1980s. Successive political governments in the 1980s were too weak to reverse the trend.

    Piles of intelligence reports warned against mushroom growth of unregistered madrassas. Although not all of them were involved in terrorist activities, many were used as operational headquarters, satellite offices or hideouts by sectarian militants. But little action was taken.

    Amir Rana also notes that the fading distinction between Jihadi and sectarian outfits. “Law enforcement agencies have arrested a number of activists who were working for several sectarian and militant organisations simultaneously. This complicates the matter.”

    The PIPS director emphasises inter-sect dialogue to revive the lost harmony and spirit of coexistence. “The violence must stop first. And then, multi-pronged peace efforts should be launched at various tiers.”

    Shahzad Raza is TFT special correspondent based in Islamabad. He can be reached at s79r@hotmail.com

    http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta2/tft/article.php?issue=20120302&page=2

    …………

    The Al Qaeda connection
    By Ali K Chishti
    Sectarian violence

    Having joined hands with Al Qaeda, sectarian outfits continue to threaten urban Pakistan

    Funeral of a Shia victim killed in sectarian violence in Quetta

    “My teacher had told me if I kill Shias I will go to heaven,” says Mohammad Azam. “Barelvis and Shias are the same. They both need to be killed,” adds Jalandar Khan. The two men were detained before they could launch suicide attacks.

    Sectarian differences in Pakistan took a violent turn after the Soviet fall, when men who had been fighting in Afghanistan used their resources and training to carry out attacks on Shias and other minorities in Pakistan.

    Riaz Basra and his accomplices were accused of targeting key Shia state officials and professionals until 1996. In 1997, the killings became indiscriminate and all Shias became targets.

    After the strict Salafist Taliban government took over in Afghanistan, violence against Shias and minorities increased significantly. At least 193 people were killed in sectarian violence in Pakistan in 1997, 157 in 1998, and more than 261 in 2001. This happened while many in Pakistan had been praising the Taliban for the peace they had brought in Afghanistan.

    An image on a car window in Karachi calls people to take up arms

    The first suicide attack of sectarian nature was carried out in 2003, on a Shia mosque on Pakistan-Afghanistan border. At least 55 people were killed.

    In mid-2002, Al Qaeda began to cooperate with local sectarian organizations in Karachi, strengthening their networks and capacity. Among the first attacks carried out by this alliance was an ambush on Karachi corps commander Gen Ahsan Hayat.

    Since then, attacks have been carried out on almost all major Sufi shrines, and Barelvi and Shia people have been under constant attack. In 2006, a large number of Barelvi Sunni Tehreek leaders were killed in a suicide bombing at a religious gathering in Nishtar Park.

    Sectarian violence in Karachi:

    In mid-2002, Al Qaeda began to cooperate with local sectarian organizations in Karachi, strengthening their networks and capacity
    A large number of Shia professionals were shot and killed in Karachi in the 1990s before attacks became more brutal. The city is one of the most polarized regions in Pakistan.

    “More than 200 of our workers have been killed in recent attacks,” says Sarwat Ejaz Qadri, the chief of Sunni Tehreek.

    Sunni Tehreek was formed in 1992 to safeguard the interests of Barelvi Muslims. It opposed the appointment of rival Deobandis on key state posts. Important Deobandi ideologues it had opposed were from the Binori Town mosque in Karachi. The founder of the mosque was killed in May 2004 and his son, nephew and driver were injured, when his car was ambushed by armed men.

    The assassination occurred three weeks after a powerful bomb killed 15 Shia worshippers in Hyderi Mosque.

    A day after the assassination, at least 24 worshippers were killed and 34 others injured when a high-intensity bomb exploded during the evening prayers at a Shia mosque on MA Jinnah Road in Karachi.

    A top intelligence official said they were seen by security agencies as tit-for-tat attacks.

    When Intelligence Bureau and CID conducted a raid to arrest a suspect believed to be involved in the Nishtar Park bombing on a house in Baldia locality in Karachi, the inmates retaliated. The three people eventually arrested – Sultan Omer, Siddique Mehsud and Zubair Bengali – admitted to have been involved in suicide attacks at Nishtar Park and on Allama Hassan Turabi. One of them was a relative of Baitullah Mehsud.

    The Al Qaeda link:

    In March 1995, two American consulate officials – Garry C Durrell (CIA) and Jackie Van Landingham (a consulate secretary) were targeted by a local group in an attack sanctioned by Al Qaeda in response to the extradition of Ramzi Yousaf.

    According to an intelligence source who has been following sectarian outfits for over two decades, it was among the first verifiable indications of sectarian militants tagging with Al Qaeda.

    “It was Khaled Sheikh Muhammad, the Al Qaeda number three and an anti-Shia Baloch of Iranian origin who supervised the attack.”

    In 2002 when Khaled Sheikh Muhammad came to Karachi, he was housed by local sectarian groups, says a former intelligence chief who asked not to be named. Some of these groups became the operational arms for Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s urban areas.

    Suspects arrested by security agencies and intelligence reports also show these groups have connections with Al Qaeda.

    Sectarian faultlines:

    In South Punjab, Khanewal, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Leiah, Shujabad, and DG Khan have recently become major centers of sectarian outfits. According to a survey, there are more than 798 madarssas in DG Khan and more than 1000 in Bahawalpur. A large number of them are fuelling sectarian discords.

    In Balochistan, scores of Hazara people have been killed for their Shia beliefs. The government has failed to respond to the threat so far and key clerics have not condemned the brutal acts.

    In Karachi and Punjab, banned sectarian groups are now operating under new names and leaders once seen as involved in sectarian violence are addressing political gatherings.

    These developments indicate the sectarian fault lines emerging in urban Pakistan.

    Ali Chishti is a TFT reporter based in Karachi. He can be reached at akchishti@hotmail.com

    http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta2/tft/article.php?issue=20120302&page=4

    ……….

    The rise of violent sectarianism
    By Raza Rumi
    Sectarian violence

    A police helmet is seen next to blood stains at the site where a bomb exploded

    Denominational differences are not new to Islam, just as they are not to other religions. However, the history of sectarian violence in Pakistan is a phenomenon that, while drawing on old differences of faith, has unfolded in a modern context. The recent rise in sectarian killings, for instance, is a continuation of the trends already gathering pace in Pakistani society from the 1980s. They indicate the growing retreat or failure of state and law enforcement agencies against the expanding power of militant groups that deploy guerrilla tactics to achieve their goals. Sectarianism in its contemporary manifestation, therefore, cannot be delinked from the larger growth of Pakistan-based terror groups and their alliance with the global Jihadist project negotiated by the loose conglomerate known as Al Qaeda.

    Three developments are most worrying for Pakistan. First, as Khaled Ahmed in his various TFT articles has noted, the widespread acceptance of Al Qaeda’s anti-West stance has permeated large swathes of the population. Second, the US policy of targeting Al Qaeda and its affiliates through drone strikes has forced its leaders to spread out and find new operational bases within urban Pakistan. Karachi, for instance, has been cited as a major ground for the continuation of its operations, in addition to Faisalabad, Lahore and other areas. Third and most dangerously, in the past decade, Al Qaeda may have entered into an alliance with home-grown militants such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and old sectarian outfits.

    The Roots of Modern Sectarianism

    The Pakistani state needs to protect and enable religious plurality and repeal or amend laws and official procedures that reinforce sectarian identities such as the mandatory affirmation of faith in application for jobs, passports and national identity cards
    Sectarian conflict in Pakistan traces its roots to the Pakistani state’s attempts to forge a national identity based on Islam. Muslim nationalism in India at the start of the Pakistan movement was broadly pan-Islamic in nature and aloof to sectarianism. However, as early as the 1950s when new textbooks were commissioned for junior classes, the official narrative began to shift. The Pakistani state, as a matter of policy, decided to formulate a new identity was based as much on constructs of Pakistan’s Islamic identity as it was on a virulent anti-Indianism. In making public education the site for building a non-inclusive identity, the state privileged the history and teachings of a number of religious personages, including Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and Shah Waliullah, who abhorred Shiaism. Decrees of apostasy against the Shias of Pakistan in the ’90s would refer to the works of the same religious figures to justify their pedigree.

    In addition to the emphasis on a singular Muslim identity, which excluded the Shias, the 1974 constitutional amendment stoked fresh fires of sectarianism by launching apostasy verdicts against the Ahmadi community of Pakistan. The amendment did not explicitly mention the Ahmadi community and has been used by hardliner Sunni clerics to also target the Shia community in Pakistan. Sectarianism in Pakistan reached its pinnacle under the dictatorial regime of Zia-ul-Haq. In his nine years in office, Zia proceeded to impose a rigid interpretation of Islamic law on Pakistan, in part to legitimize his illegal rule and in part as a result of his own ideological inclinations. A gradual movement from the more tolerant, pluralist expression of Islam to a more austere and puritanical Deobandi Islam had already begun in the country earlier. Khaled Ahmed in his book (Sectarianism, OUP, 2011) calls this phenomenon a movement from the ‘Low Church Islam’, native to the unsettled plains of the Punjab and Sindh to the ‘High Church Islam’ of the seminaries of Northern India and Afghanistan.

    Once the nation’s policy elite decided that Islam was to be the primary factor around which Pakistan’s identity would be constructed, it was clear that the more rigid ‘High Church’ Deobandi creed would dominate the ideological landscape of Pakistan, with its influential seminaries in urban centers and its emphasis on laws and punishment. The ‘Low Church’ Barelvi clerics, who were tolerant of the rural Shrine culture and of Shiaism were gradually sidelined.

    The Deobandi creed was further strengthened with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the advent of the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979. Afghanistan had always practised the Deobandi variant of FiqhHanafia and the ‘jihad’ against the Soviet Union increased the charisma of the Deobandi seminary. The geopolitics of Shia-Sunni tensions in the Middle East after the Iranian revolution also added to the hardening of religious identities.

    In Pakistan, the local Shia population mobilised in protest when Zia made the payment of Zakat, the Islamic poor due, obligatory. All Muslims, regardless of their sectarian affiliation were to pay the Zakat, 2.5% of the value of their annual savings and assets, to the state. The Shias, who differed in their interpretation of the Zakat edict, refused. Zia eventually had to announce an exemption for the community. The Zakat law, specifically on the Sunni population of the country, further strengthened the hand of the High Church clergy in the country. King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was reported to have given seed money for Zia’s Zakat fund on precondition that a part of the money would be donated to the Ahl-e-Hadith, an Islamic party closely allied with the puritanical Wahabbi movement of Saudi Arabia. The number of Deobandi madrassahs shot up exponentially following the imposition of the Zakat law, from 401 in 1960 to 1745 in 1979. Zakat money was an important factor in this growth, though not the only one.

    Letting the monster grow

    Evidence points to the fact that Zia was informed of the sectarian trouble brewing in the Jhang district of the Punjab, but chose to ignore it. In 1986, a year later, a prominent Indian Muslim cleric funded by Saudi Arabia asked Deobandi Madrassahs in Pakistan to say whether the Shias were Muslim or not. The seminaries sent him fatwas that declared the Shias non-Muslim. These fatwas later led to the death of many Shias in Pakistan. This, too, was ignored by the Zia government. Also, in 1986, General Zia allowed “a purge of Turi Shias” in the city of Parachinar, in the Kurram agency of the Tribal areas.

    The sectarian situation in the country continued to worsen even after the advent of democracy in Pakistan in the 90s. The governments of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif haplessly tolerated their growing sectarian militancy. During 1996-98, for instance, sectarian violence in the Punjab resulted in 204 terrorist attacks, killing 361 people. Lahore alone had shared the 64 attacks.

    When things became unmanageable, Nawaz Sharif, then Prime Minister, initiated a clean-up operation against the SSP but stopped when the SSP tried to assassinate him. Today Nawaz Sharif’s party, the PML-N, have been accused of forming an electoral alliance with sectarian elements in the Punjab.

    Is Sectarianism Gaining Strength?

    It is now widely recognized that sectarian killings are on the rise in contemporary Pakistan. Several research-based commentaries argue that sectarianism is growing in affiliation with Taliban franchises in Pakistan that in turn are linked with Al-Qaeda remnants. For instance, Ahmed Rana says: “Eleven major sectarian terrorist attacks have been reported in Punjab during [the] last five years [2005-2010]. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and its affiliate groups have claimed responsibility for these sectarian attacks. This trend reveals the close nexus between the Taliban and several major sectarian and militant groups in Punjab, which are now labeled as ‘Punjabi Taliban’. This alliance between the Taliban and sectarian outfits is now expanding its targets. The killing of Mufti Sarfaraz Naeemi was the first indication, and the horrific terrorist attack on Data Darbar is a manifestation of the expanding sectarian agenda.”

    Statistics point to a worrisome trend. Since September 2010, an average of three or four incidents of sectarian violence took place every month in the country. The number of attacks peak during the time of Ashura (seven attacks in December 2010). Data that isolates the number of sectarian attacks by location demonstrates that most sectarian attacks took place in Balochistan, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal areas. Sectarian violence in the northern areas can be attributed to the pervasion of extremist Salafist ideology in the region, implemented by these armed groups. Statistics indicate that sectarianism is also still persistent, albeit to a lesser degree, in Sindh and Punjab. All of this reflects continued government and state inability to erode their capacity.

    Policy Implications:

    The Pakistani state needs to protect and enable religious plurality and repeal or amend laws and official procedures that reinforce sectarian identities such as the mandatory affirmation of faith in application for jobs, passports and national identity cards. The state should not use Zakat revenues to finance the activities of a particular sect or creed within the country. The Pakistan Studies and Islamic studies textbooks should be purged of material that promotes sectarianism or spreads hatred.

    The state should disband all armed militias and militant organisations under Article 246 of the constitution. Existing bans on sectarian organisations should be strictly enforced. The government should publicise evidence of sectarian organisations’ involvement in violent or criminal activities. Laws against hate speech should be strictly implemented. Jihadi publications supporting supra-state ideologies and sectarian agendas should be banned and the license of such publications should be revoked.

    There is a dire need to reform the madrassah network in the country. The government should draft a new madrassah law and register all madrassahs under the same law. The government should appoint prayer leaders and orators at mosques and madrassahs run by the Auqaf department only after verifying their credentials. Prayer leaders with known involvement in sectarian activities should be removed from positions of authority.

    Government officials and politicians accused of maintaining links with sectarian organisations should be investigated and, if found guilty, should be prosecuted. The government should ensure a competent prosecution team for those being tried for sectarian violence. The security of judges who oversee sectarian cases should also be ensured.

    In addition, the Pakistani state policy of allowing space for militant organisations needs a serious overhaul. The militarization of Pakistani society and the havoc wreaked by rogue ‘strategic assets’ on the country should be evidence enough that the state cannot continue to support militant organisations at the cost of dividing Pakistani society.

    Excerpted from author’s paper included in ” Extremism Watch: Mapping Conflict Trends in Pakistan 2010-2011 recently published by Jinnah Institute, Islamabad.

    http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta2/tft/article.php?issue=20120302&page=7

    ………

    The battle for Kurram
    By Zia Ur Rehman
    Sectarian violence

    Turis, a Shia pashtun tribe, are being targeted because they inhabit a strategically important region in Upper Kurram

    A victim of the February 17 Parachinar suicide bomb blast at a hospital in Peshawar

    On February 17, 43 people were killed in a suicide attack in a market outside a mosque in Parachinar, the headquarters of Kurram Agency. Taliban commander Fazal Saeed Haqqani – who had quit the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in June and formed his own Tehrik-e-Taliban Islami (TTI) – claimed responsibility for the attack. He said the Shia Turi tribe had been targeted because it was supporting the armed forces in the ongoing military operation in Kurram region.

    Sajid Hussain Turi, a parliamentarian from the Kurram, condemned the attack. “Sunni and Shia families who had been displaced because of the violence in the region for years had only returned home two days ago,” he told reporters.

    “The conflict is not tribal or sectarian per se, but instigated by the Taliban who want access to Afghanistan and are supported by local criminals”

    Kurram, one of Pakistan’s seven tribal agencies, borders Khost, Paktia and Nangarhar provinces of Afghanistan, and Khyber, Orakzai and North Waziristan agencies in Pakistan. Kurram is the only tribal agency with a significant Shia population, and violence in the agency has been fuelled by sectarian tensions. Around 40 percent of Kurram’s inhabitants are Shia. Upper Kurram is inhabited largely by the Turi tribe – the only Pashtun tribe which is wholly Shia – while central and lower Kurram are inhabited by Sunnis, mostly Bangash.

    “Increasing sectarianism in Hangu, Kohat and DI Khan districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the Kurram and Orakzai agencies of FATA, is a result of the growing Taliban influence and the recent arrival of Punjabi Sunni militants,” said Mariam Abou Zahab, a Paris-based security expert who studies sectarianism in Pakistan.

    Troops patrol a road in Parachinar

    There are longstanding disputes over ownership of forests, hills, land and water resources between Sunni and Shia tribes in Kurram, and sporadic incidents of communal violence have taken place since the 1930s, particularly during Muharram or Nowruz. Sunnis have consistently demanded a ban on Nowruz celebrations which they consider unIslamic, said Abou Zahab. “Many argue that there was no Sunni-Shia problem historically, and tribal rivalries were given a sectarian colour in the heat of the moment. Clashes were often over petty disputes. For instance, the riots that erupted in Parachinar in 1973 were sparked by a row over the height of the minarets of the main Sunni mosque and Shia Imambargah.”

    But the nature and dimensions of the sectarian conflict have changed since 2001. “Kurram has become strategically important once again because it shares a border with key Afghan provinces and has a relatively large Afghan refugee population,” Abu Zahab said. “The conflict is not tribal or sectarian per se, but instigated by the Taliban who want access to Afghanistan and are supported by local criminals. They use tribal and sectarian differences to fuel the conflict and keep the government out.”

    “The Taliban want to capture the Khewas area of Upper Kurram where it is believed that the GPRS system of US drones doesn’t work properly”
    The situation has worsened since 2006, with the emergence of new Taliban groups in South and North Waziristan, Orakzai and Khyber, said Aqeel Yousafzai, a Peshawar-based security expert and author. More than 3,500 people have been killed, 50 villages burned and thousands of people displaced in sectarian clashes in Kurram between 2007 and 2011.

    Shia tribes have blamed Pakistani and Afghan Taliban groups for the violence, and also accused Pakistani security agencies of supporting the Sunni militants. Sunnis have alleged Shia militants are armed and funded by Iran.

    The TTP, the Orakzai Taliban and the Afridi Taliban have killed hundreds of people, both Shia and Sunni, in the last few years. In October 2007, Baitullah Mehsud – who was heading the TTP – sent a group of 400 Mehsud militants to Kurram. The militia was led by Qari Hussain, a notorious anti-Shia commander who burned down several villages and killed dozens of Shias. Two months later, he returned to South Waziristan and was replaced by Faqir Alam Mehsud and his men. “Reputed for his brutality, Faqir Alam Mehsud personally beheaded at least 100 Shias from Kurram, and several Sunnis accused of cooperating with the Shias,” according to a Taliban militant who had fought under his command.

    Orakzai Taliban chief Mullah Noor Jamal (aka Mullah Toofan), Afridi militant groups including Tariq Afridi’s TTP Darra Adam Khel, Mangal Bagh’s Laskhar-e-Islam and Haji Mehboob’s Ansarul Islam, also sent hundreds of militants to Kurram to fights against Shias. The area has also been a sanctuary for militants from the Punjabi Sunni extremist groups banned in 2002.

    The only known Shia militant group is the Mehdi Militia (sometimes called the Haideri Taliban), consisting mainly of Turi tribesmen. “The group has large public support among Shias in Kurram and is concentrated in the upper Kurram area of Parchinar and Ziayran,” according to a report published by Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS). Their opponents say the group is supported by allies in Iran and Afghanistan.

    Although Shia militants have also killed tribesmen from the rival Sunni tribes, security analysts believe the group was set up to defend the Shia population and cannot match the Taliban in manpower and logistics.

    Shia tribal elders say they are being attacked because they stop the Taliban from entering Afghanistan. They allege elements linked with Pakistan’s military establishment support some Taliban groups because of the strategic importance of the region. The allegations cannot be verified.

    Hamid Raza Bangash, an activist and author of Hangu and the Bangash Tribe, said the Thal-Parachinar road connecting Kurram with Peshawar, had remained closed for five years, and Shia tribesmen had no option but to use the road which goes through the Afghan provinces of Logar, Kabul and Nangarhar.

    The region also became strategically important for Al Qaeda-linked groups like the TTP and the Haqqani Network after an increase in the number of drone strikes, analysts say. “At the behest of Al Qaeda and the Haqqani Network, the Taliban want to capture the Khewas area of Upper Kurram where it is believed that the GPRS system of US drones doesn’t work properly,” Bangash said.

    Shia elders say foreign militants had also been seen operating in the area. Aslanov Zaur, an Al Qaeda-linked Azerbaijani, was killed in Jogi area of Kurram in clashes with Pakistani security forces in the second week of February.

    Analysts see the defection of a key TTP leader to form his own TTI as a move orchestrated by the Haqqanis and their allies in Pakistan who are focused on solely carrying out attacks against the US forces in Afghanistan. “I repeatedly told the leadership council of the TTP that they should stop suicide attacks on mosques, markets and other civilian targets,” Fazal Saeed told AFP at time of his defection. He likened what the TTP does in Pakistan to “what US troops are doing in Afghanistan” and vowed to continue the fight against the Americans alone.

    The Pakistani military has not targeted Fazal Saeed or the TTI during its operation in Kurram so far, Shia elders complain. After he claimed responsibility for the February 17 bombing in Parachinar, political authorities demolished three houses of Fazal Saeed and his relatives in Ochat village in Lower Kurram.

    Tribal elders from both sides say that after years of clashes, beheadings, suicide attacks, killings, abductions, and military operations, the people only want peace.

    http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta2/tft/article.php?issue=20120302&page=3

    ………

    A brief history of Hazara persecution
    By Dr Saleem Javed
    Sectarian violence

    In Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Hazara people continue to face discrimination and violence

    A refugee Hazara boy in the New Jalozai Camp

    A bill in the US Congress that backs the Baloch “right of self-determination” days after a congressional hearing on Balochistan, and the emotionally charged reactions to these developments in Pakistan, both ignore the persecution of the Hazara community in the violence-hit province.

    Analysts say the community is of no strategic or electoral importance to Pakistani leaders, and might be seen in the US as pro-Iran because it is Shia.

    The Dari-speaking Hazara people live in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, and are believed to be of Turk-Mongol descent. They are mostly Shia, with small Sunni and Ismaili minorities.

    Hazaras in Afghanistan:

    In a single incident in 1998, Iranian forces killed more than 630 refugees, mostly Hazaras, in the Safed Sang Camp detention center
    According to Qaseem Akhgar, a prominent Afghan historian and political analyst, Hazara people have been living in Afghanistan for more than 2,000 years. Their persecution began after their land, the Hazarajat, was taken over by Amir Abdul Rehman Khan in the late 19th century. Hundreds of thousands of Hazara were killed, enslaved or forced to flee their homeland. Those who survived were persecuted by successive Afghan regimes. In 1933, a young Hazara highschool student Abdul Khaliq assassinated Nadir Shah, the king of Afghanistan, to avenge discrimination against his people.

    The most recent spate of violence against the Hazara people began with the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. They killed thousands of Hazaras in Bamiyan, Yakaolang and Mazar-e-Sharif with impunity from 1998 to 2001.

    Hazaras in Iran:

    The persecution of Hazaras began after their land was taken over by Amir Abdul Rehman Khan in the late 19th century
    In Iran, the Hazaras are known as Khawaris, or Barbaris (barbarians), because of their phenotypic similarities with the Mongols. Most of them live in Mashhad, Turbat-e-Jam, Darrah Gaz and Nishaboor. Although a majority of Iranian population is Shia, the Khawaris are a marginalized community that has sought to protect their ethnic and cultural identity from state oppression. Iran also hosts a significant population of Hazara refugees from Afghanistan.

    In a single incident in 1998, Iranian forces killed more than 630 refugees, mostly Hazaras, in the Safed Sang Camp detention center. A film about the incident was not shown in Afghanistan after what insiders call the Iranian president’s “personal request” to his Afghan counterpart.

    Hazaras in Pakistan:

    Banned militant outfits have threatened to make Pakistan “a graveyard for the Shia Hazaras” and have asked them to leave the country by 2012
    The Hazaras in British India were less marginalized and even joined the British army. In 1904, Major CW Jacob of the 126th Balochistan Infantry, who later became Field-Marshal Sir Claude Jacob, raised the 106th Hazara Pioneers with drafts from the 124th Duchess of Connaught’s Own Balochistan Infantry and from his own regiment. They were a class regiment comprising eight companies of Hazaras. According to Hazara community leader Sardar Sa’adat Ali Hazara, “Among those who were recruited in various arms of the Indian Defence Services during World War II in 1939 was Gen Musa Khan. He later became the commander-in-chief of Pakistan Army, and was honoured for his services in the 1965 war against India.”

    Unfortunately, the persecution of Hazaras began in Pakistan in 1998 with the assassination of Gen Musa Khan’s son Hassan Musa in Karachi. On July 4, 2003, 53 people died and 150 were hurt in a suicide attack on a Hazara mosque in Quetta. It was the first attack of its kind. Since then, more than 700 Shias, most of them Hazaras, have been killed in gun attacks, rocket attacks, mass killings and suicide bombings in Balochistan.

    Banned militant outfits have threatened to make Pakistan “a graveyard for the Shia Hazaras” and have asked them to leave the country by 2012.

    “The locations of the hideouts and training camps of the groups involved in attacks on Hazaras are not secret,” Sardar Sa’adat said. “The government and the law-enforcement agencies seem to have no interest in protecting us.”

    The Hazara people are not allowed in certain parts of Quetta, including the Sariyab Road where Balochistan University is situated.

    According to Asmat Yari, the president of Hazara Students Federation (HSF), “Almost 75% of Hazara students have quit the university and those who remain cannot attend classes because of fear.” School attendance has also decreased by 10 percent this year, and college attendance by 25 percent. Parents do not let their children take exams in centers outside of the areas deemed safe for the Hazaras.

    Thousands of young Hazaras have fled to Europe and Australia, often illegally, to escape the oppression. On December 20, 54 Hazara boys drowned when their boat sank near Java, Indonesia. Only seven bodies have been received so far. Another 23 Hazaras drowned near Malaysia on February 1.

    “That the Hazara young men chose to leave Pakistan by taking such grave risks,” the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan sad in a statement, “is a measure of the persecution the Hazara community has long faced in Balochistan.”

    Saleem Javed is a medical doctor by profession and a freelance journalist based in Quetta. He blogs at saleemjavid.wordpress.com and tweets @mSaleemJaved

    http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta2/tft/article.php?issue=20120302&page=5.1

  3. Saleem Javed is a known pimp of the same institution for whom Najam Sethi works.

    The Friday Times is the main station of propagandists of Pakistan army.

    Shame on TFT for spreading lies about Shias and Sunnis.

  4. We condemn The Friday Times, its editors (Sethi, Rumi etc) and author Zia Ur Rehman for publishing false propaganda against an imaginary Shia terrorist group Haideri Taliban. This propaganda has its origins in the ISI and by uncritically publishing this propaganda, TFT has shown whose agenda it is working on!

    https://pakistanblogzine.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/the-friday-times-misrepresents-the-suffering-of-pakistans-shias-and-ahmadis/

    In the same issue, TFT also published an article by Zia Ur Rehman, titled ‘Battle for Kurram’. The article presents false neutrality between well documented ISI-Taliban-ASWJ’s persecution and genocide of Shia Pashtuns (Tooris) with Shias’ legitimate defence to save their lives, honour and property from the army-Taliban-ASWJ trio. The article also uncritically recycles ISI-esque propaganda about an imaginary Shia terrorist group Haideri Taliban.

    The only known Shia militant group is the Mehdi Militia (sometimes called the Haideri Taliban), consisting mainly of Turi tribesmen. “The group has large public support among Shias in Kurram and is concentrated in the upper Kurram area of Parchinar and Ziayran,” according to a report published by Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS). Their opponents say the group is supported by allies in Iran and Afghanistan.

    Recently, Jang Group too published the ISI-esque propaganda about Haideri Taliban and upon protestations by Shia activists, retracted the ill-intended report and rendered an apology, which can be read here: https://pakistanblogzine.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/jang-group-the-news-retracts-its-isi-inspired-report-on-haideri-taliban/

  5. Abdul Nishapuri ‏ @AbdulNishapuri · Open
    TFT writes: Iran killed 630 Hazaras! Where’s evidence? Any report by any human rights organization at all? UN statement?
    22m Asad Baloch ‏ @Diagoh · Open
    @AbdulNishapuri Yes actually iran did killed 630 hazaras refugees azaranica.blogspot.com
    18m Abdul Nishapuri ‏ @AbdulNishapuri · Open
    @Diagoh You provided a link to the very article (TFT) which is in question. Plz provide a link to a credible report by UN, HRW, Amnesty etc
    14m Asad Baloch ‏ @Diagoh · Open
    @AbdulNishapuri Although there is no proof of any un or hrw report of it but Iran has been hostile to many minorities “Baloch, Turk,Arabs”
    12m Abdul Nishapuri ‏ @AbdulNishapuri · Open
    @Diagoh I know and I agree. Yet, this does not answer the matter in question.
    Asad Baloch ‏ @Diagoh Close
    @AbdulNishapuri Yes your absolutely right that the number he used is not correct 630 is a far big number & i might not go with it.
    Abdul Nishapuri ‏ @AbdulNishapuri · Open
    @Diagoh I suggest you read this entire post. TFT has misrepresented Shia genocide in Pakistan in more than one posts. pakistanblogzine.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/the…
    View media
    Asad Baloch ‏ @Diagoh Close
    @AbdulNishapuri I am truly on it, it is really shocking for the media to shuffle the truth & make a spaghetti pie out of it. confusing

  6. well, i totally agree with dr. salim javed’s artice wrote on Hazara perseution , because hazara’s have been facing these problems long time ago which is caused by iran and taliban or the people who have the same idealogy and their fraternity friends.

  7. Raza Rumi’s edited Pak Tea House does the same thing.

    It presents the Shia genocide as a sectarian issue and the target killing of Shias as equal violence between Shias and Sunnis. When will TFT, PTH editors realize that SSP-ASWJ-Taliban beasts do not represent Sunnis, and that Shia genocide is not a routine sectarianism issue? It is enabled by the Jihadist military state!

    The author writes: “And the worst form of reactionary psychology is then to hit where it hurts the most! Which is that one group starts using derogatory words about those whom the other group holds sacred. And those who were the closest to him (saw) who was the closest to Allah get dragged in our tug of war – a tug of war which makes no sense.”

    See, it’s all Shias’ fault. Sipah-e-Sahaba are right!

    Also read this gem:

    “Exactly 8 years ago in March 2004, the Shia Hazara community in Quetta suffers an attack on the 10th of Muharram, and 36 are martyred. 2005 sees 10 Sunnis killed in Gilgit to retaliate the murder of Shia cleric Agha Ziauddin. The madness continues. It is 2012.”

    See, it’s all equal and fine!

    …………

    http://pakteahouse.net/2012/03/05/16484/

    Are you a Shia or Sunni?
    By Farahnaz Zahidi Moazzam

    Farahnaz Zahidi Moazzam is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for writing. Her focus is human rights, gender issues and reproductive health. She loves blogging, traveling, is a chaai person and a wannabe photographer. Her pet peeve is marginalization on any grounds. She lives in Karachi & blogs here

    It started quite early. Maybe I was 6. Or 7. That’s when I first realized that there was something called a “Shia”, and people thought I was one. Because in Pakistan, certain surnames are associated with being a Shia – Turaabi, Rizvi, Jaafri, Zaidi. And because Zaidi sounds notoriously similar to the uncommon surname “Zahidi”, I was asked this question very early on. So I came home and asked my father, to which abba replied very matter-of-factly that by faith, Shias and Sunnis are both Muslims. And that it’s like two brothers from the same family. And that we all love Rasool Ullah (saw) and his family, and are still very sad about what happened to Rasool Ullah’s (saw) grandson Imam Hussain (ra). And to my question “am I a Shia?”, abba explained best as he could to a 6 year old that no, we are from the group called Sunnis, but that is not such a big issue.

    But as I grew, I realized that it WAS indeed a big issue. And the issue was the same that has caused sectarian and ethnic differences and cleansings and violence over the centuries. The same issue that has stained many a hands with innocent blood. And the issue is that we cannot accept someone different. The issue of “The Others”. ‘Arab vs ‘Ajam. Gentile vs Jew. US vs THEM.

    This is an overly simplistic analysis maybe. Or may be not. We can go into the historical causes. And history will always be partial. Will lack objectivity. Will be, literally, to each his own. So we have no sure way of knowing why Sunnis and Shias have remained daggers drawn.

    What I do know is that society conditions us in such a way that whoever differs from you, may it be regarding the thought process or language or ethnicity or race or caste or creed, or religion most importantly, is a threat to you. And the basic animal instinct then takes over. We don’t overlook the differences and don’t concentrate on the similarities – we do just the opposite. We completely discount what was said in Al-Qur’an: “O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you…” (3:64). Where even people from a different faith were invited to concentrate on the commonalities rather than focus on the differences.

    I was blessed that I grew up as daughter of a father who, being a Sunni by belief, made sure that solidarity with Shias was order of the day. Me and abba spent countless tenths of Muharram talking about the history of Islam, and of the Karbala massacre, with him telling me both sides of the story. He would tell me to not listen to the music loudly or not do anything on that day that would hurt the sentiments of Shia neighbours or friends. And he made sure that I understand that differences in perspectives are “natural, because Allah has Created each one of us differently, and our circumstances shape us. Therefore, give each other margin.” His words have stayed with me.

    In general, though, we Sunnis, are very sensitive to how Shias wear more black, and we stereo-typically feed certain ideas about them in our heads. As it is, it is very easy to start thinking of a minority as an adversary. And then, the minority WILL react, albeit in different way. And they do. And they have. And they also tend to stereo-type the Sunnis. Both groups talk in hushed whispers about the others. We are scandalized when the other group’s namaz is somewhat different, seemingly, or they break their fast in Ramadan slightly earlier or later. Again, we concentrate on the differences, not the common factors – same Allah, same messenger (saw), same Qur’an……but it just doesn’t seem enough!!

    Polarization between Shias and Sunnis has had weird effects, besides the violence. It always amazes me how we have conveniently decided to divide, amongst us, the companions of Rasool Ullah (saw). It’s like “ok, so I am going with Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman (radiAllahu anhum ajma’een) and you go with ‘Ali, Imam Hasan, Imam Hussain (radiAllahu anhum ajma’een) and Rasool Ullah’s (saw) family. In my religious literature and talks, I will talk about Ayesha (ra) and you can talk about Fatima (ra). For guidance, I can look at the rulings of Abdullah bin Mas’ood (ra) and you can choose Abdullah bin Abbas (ra).” And the worst form of reactionary psychology is then to hit where it hurts the most! Which is that one group starts using derogatory words about those whom the other group holds sacred. And those who were the closest to him (saw) who was the closest to Allah get dragged in our tug of war – a tug of war which makes no sense.

    What’s interesting is that the same Sunnis and Shias, when it comes to Hajj or Umrah, are peacefully praying in the same rows, embracing the differences and celebrating the commonalities. Doing tawaaf of the same Kaabah, doing sa’ee together between Safa and Marwa. Praying from the same Holy book, though they may differ at times in how they interpret it, which is ok. So what happens once they step out of the Masjid Al-Haraam? Why not carry the same acceptance with them outside the haram too, and say to each other from the heart “Assalamu’Aalaikum” – Peace be upon you.

    But that does not seem to work, and I don’t know why.

    What I do know is that for the longest time, every year on the tenth of Muharram, we pray that the day passes without any casualties. What I do know is that year after year, innocent lives are lost. In retaliation. In reaction. Hatred takes over peace. Anger takes over sanity. Flashbacks of just a few incidences are enough to make the heart bleed. Exactly 8 years ago in March 2004, the Shia Hazara community in Quetta suffers an attack on the 10th of Muharram, and 36 are martyred. 2005 sees 10 Sunnis killed in Gilgit to retaliate the murder of Shia cleric Agha Ziauddin. The madness continues. It is 2012. A Parachinar bombing happens. Then,a Kohistan massacre happens. Merciless AK-47s gun down 16 innocent people. In one day, 16 lives are lost…..16 families are devastated…….children are orphaned, women are widowed, humanity is slaughtered at the alter of sectarianism.

    Agreed, it is not just dogmatic differences that are causing this. There is more at play. It is not just historical disputes that are causing this mayhem. Yes, the masses are pre-dominantly apathetic and unaware of who did what, and why. But is apathy ok? Yes, there are insidious plans and invisible hands at work that make sure this schism never heals. There are political gains for many in this game.

    But that is something I cannot do much about. What I can and will do is that I will look inward, and see where I have gone wrong….where I have just accepted Shias as the others. Where I have let society condition me into thinking in a certain way. Where I have let myself feel more powerful because I belong to the majority sect. Where I have ignored the pleas of the underdog with deafening silence. Where I have let myself believe that in any way, the life of one human being is more precious than another’s on the basis of caste or creed. Where I have not given enough importance to the atrocities around me when a person….even a single person….is harmed because of no crime, but simply because of who he was or what he believed.

    I am a Sunni, and I peacefully shall remain one by choice. But another human has an equal right to remain a Sunni, a Shia, a Salafi, a Wahabbi, a Barelvi, a Deobandi. Or, for that matter, a follower of any faith. And the followers for all faiths must feel secure and not be punished for what they believe in. Humanity, peace and the true message of Islam is bigger than these denominations.

    And so, for my brothers killed in Kohistan, my heart bleeds.Condemning it is too weak a word. Any word is too weak. So I can just grieve over this death of sanity.

  8. Hello
    I am agree white Mr doctor Salim Jawid which he given her idea .
    the Akhondi rageam is soo selfish for their policy thy doing every thing religes has not menning
    country benifet and to cantinu gvirnment
    I whant to say Down whit Akhondi Ragime

  9. We should support freedom of speech, truth and human dignity, so we should support Dr Saleem Javed and do not leave him alone among the terrorists and fundamentalists.

  10. I condemn Israeli Iranian conspiracy against great Dr Saleem Javed, great researcher Amir Rana and great editors Najam Sethi and Raza Rumi.

    Down with Zionism Shia-ism. Up with Secularism. Hail HDP. Hail ISI. Hail TFT,

  11. hey world, I’m shouting, please help us to stop these crimes.

  12. Dr. Saleem Javid wrote and mentioned the facts highlighting the sufferings and genocides of Hazaras. On the title picture there is written DARDISTAN TIMES.com, why not shia.com????????? so here we find that you are miss guiding your readers. For yourself you (the admin) choose your ethnic identy as (Gilgity) but when Dr Saleem Javid talks of Hazaras so he misrepresents the facts. Very nice . . . . . . double standers.

  13. The problem with those opposing Dr. Saleem Javed is that they actually don’t want to see the issue of Hazara genocide on the front page, thousands of Hazara civilians were massacred (just for being Hazara) during the Taliban regime and no one wrote even a single word, on the other hand the Taliban like Iranian regime (Taliban like at least for the Hazara people) is also treating Hazara people inhumanely, and it really hurts if some one asks the victim to bring the proof that you have been treated inhumanely, and what about the Lej’s (fitwa) letter spread all over Quetta threatening Hazara people to leave Pakistan or face the consequences. Please let at least some one to bring the real issue to public..Bravo Dr.Saleem Javed we are with you.God bless you.

  14. thank you Dr. Jawid

  15. It is time to show the real faces of bright people. Why so much against Dr. Saleem Javed. It is about right or wrong, it is not about Muslim or Non Muslim, Shia or Sunni, simply it is about right or wrong. Those who play with name of Islam or playing with believe of innocent people will go down. If Dr. Saleem said about Iran it does not mean Islam, who said Iran is Islam or any other Islamic country is Islam, Islam is not for Muslims it for Humans. Those who respect Humanity they are the best follower of Islam.
    Nice Dr. Saleem Javed

    • True that Islam is not only for muslim, when muslim people will more educate and start talking truth. Saudi Government is the financier of all terrorist organization in order to make Pakistan as Wahhabi beliefs, sorry to say Saudi is funding sunni mullahs and sunni madrasah to preach them Wahhabism. First bitter truth, Sunni muslims are converting into Wahhabism, everyday thousands in numbers. Second bitter truth, conversion into Islam from different faith is slow down in 50% rate. Third bitter truth, Pakistan government (politician) never serious about terrorist, and moe the whole country is screwed up economically for good.

  16. “Every attack on Shias is termed ‘sectarian violence’.” A sane letter in an insane newspaper: http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=96376&Cat=11

    The Kohistan carnage

    Wednesday, March 07, 2012

    The Kohistan carnage, in which 18 innocent Shia people were gunned down, was another example of the barbaric mindset of terrorists. Targeted killing of Shias in the northern areas is not a new phenomenon. In 1988, during dictator Zia’s regime, the jihadi elements from the tribal belt of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Kohistan and Diamer attacked the Jalalabad area of Gilgit, killed hundreds of innocent people including women and children, set ablaze houses, plants and standing crops and even shot animals.

    Every attack on Shias is termed ‘sectarian violence’. It is mainly because of this misnomer that the government and law-enforcement agencies show reluctance in going after the terrorists. All such heinous incidents must be treated as terrorist attacks. Lastly, I would say that if the federal government fails to realise its responsibility and address the grievances of the local people, Gilgit-Baltistan might go the Balochstan way.

    M H Waziri

    Islamabad

  17. I have had a very quick look at the Jinnah Institute’s report; I find it dishonest and misrepresenting about not only Pashtuns but also Shias.

    http://www.jinnah-institute.org/images/extremismwatchreport.pdf

    The following are only a few of the many concerns:

    It fails to identify the Deep State’s direct and indirect role in the ongoing genocides of the Shias and the Pashtuns.

    It presents a false neutral terms (Sunni-Shia sectarianism, Sectarian Violence etc) to hide the fact that Shias are being killed by fringe Jihadi-sectarian militants who do not represent Sunnis.

    It dishonestly misrepresents Taliban’s attack on anti-Taliban Pashtun population and mosques as attacks on Sunni mosques.

    Parts of the the same report were also published in Najam Sethi and Raza Rumi edited The Friday Times. Once again gross misrepresentation: https://pakistanblogzine.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/the-friday-times-misrepresents-the-suffering-of-pakistans-shias-and-ahmadis/

    Sherry Rehman’s notorious Jinnah Institute (current members: Ejaz Haider, Raza Rumi etc) is gaining strong and reputable critics!

    The Islamabad based, ISI-backed Jinnah Institute which declares itself a think tank and is funded by public money keeps producing anti-Pashtun literature. Its latest report even seems to be anti-Shia.

    Farhat Taj has critiqued a misleading and anti-Pashtun essay in the latest report in her Daily Times article today. It is time to come forward and condemn the Jinnah Institute for its anti-Pashtun and anti-Shia literature.
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=201233\story_3-3-2012_pg3_6

  18. Saleem Javed wrote:

    “The Hazara people are not allowed in certain parts of Quetta, including the Sariyab Road where Balochistan University is situated.”

    When in fact Sariyab Road is almost a 100% Baloch area of Quetta – and a place where BSO-A gets its radical students from. And given that Baloch are regarded as “secular” types, the fact that the racist-xenophobic element present cannot be denied.

    So to say Hazaras are killed only by the so-called #DeepState is a flawed argument.

  19. attacking Friday Times is a good idea! must be thought by the author. in fact I am not supporting Friday Times or anyone writing articles in it. but the resposiblity that the writers have is to dissiminate current and true information about the incidents and happening in Pakistan.
    but the writer seems to be pro-Iran and must be taking dictations from his Iranian boss and Mullahs, in fact the bloggers and/or writer of this article seems to be confused in some parts of this article and clearly supporting Iran. such as
    “Their opponents say the group is supported by allies in Iran and Afghanistan.”
    the writer can read and highlight Iran but can’t understand that Afghanistan is also mentioned in it and he totally ignores it.

  20. Whilst the targeting of Pakistan’s minorities whether Shia, Barelvi, Ahmadi, Baha’i or others is clearly wrong, the government of Iran possibly could assist in easing sectarian tensions in neighboring nations by giving basic human rights to it’s own non-Shia citizens.

  21. I think religion is a virus that infects the brain make us little bettter than animals. I would like to challenge anyone to disprove this!!!!!!! The religious movement world to rid the world of sinfullness or evil has in turn caused more bloodshed than any prophet could have thought There is no God only stupid people that think they speak for him

  22. Shame on you who claim to be muslim but kill the innocent minority tribe in Quetta. What kind of religion is this to let the followers to kill one another? All human beings have the right to live. Let them live. Why should anyone take away other human lives? If your religion (Islam) teaches hatred, genocide, violence, discrimination instead of love, respect, kindness, and humanity then it is not a good religion. Islam is a religion of Peace but now I can say that you are misusing your religion. Shame on you to fight for being Shias and Sunnis. Shame on you to fight over appearance. Shame on you to hurt one another. All human beings deserve to live. Don’t attack people like a wild animal. Even animals don’t attack one another when they are not hungry. The whole world is making fun of your religion because of the bad followers like you. What kind of examples are you for non muslims? If you can not give lives, Please don’t take away people’s lives! You can be nice!

  23. Hola ¿Le importaría indicando que el blog plataforma que estés trabajando con usando?
    Estoy mirando ir para iniciar mi propio blog pronto pero
    estoy teniendo un duro duro hora de tomar una decisión decidir entre BlogEngine / WordPress / B2evolution y Drupal.

    La razón que pido es porque su diseño y estilo parece diferente a la mayoría de los blogs y estoy buscando algo
    completamente único única. PS Disculpas para conseguir fuera de tema pero tuve que pedir!

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