Naziha Syed Ali justifies Shia genocide in Pakistan as tit-for-tat violence!

by admin

Naziha Syed Ali misrepresents Shia genocide in Pakistan by the ISI-supported ASWJ-SSP militants as a case of equal violence.

Related post: A rejoinder to liberal fascist critique of sister Naziha Syed Ali – by Syed Riaz Al-Malik Hajjaji

Not unlike Ejaz Haider, Najam Sethi, Raza Rumi and other urban elites who misrepresent target killing of Shia Muslims as “sectarian violence”, Naziha Syed Ali misrepresents Shia genocide by the ISI-supported ASWJ-SSP militants as a case of tit for tat violence. In her article published in Dawn, she peddled the ISI-ASWJ propaganda to create false neutrality between Shia genocide and the murder of a few ASWJ-SSP militants.

Here is a profile of this species (Naziha Syed Ali) who recycled ISI-ASWJ propaganda in Dawn:

Look at her class and the company she keeps. In fact many in this list, Naziha Syed Ali, Mohammed Hanif, Talat Aslam etc are either silent or misrepresent Shia genocide by ISI-backed ASWJ.

Will Naziha equate Palestinians’ attacks on Israeli army with with Israeli State’s disproportionate attacks on Palestinians? Will she equate Kashmir’s freedom fighters’ attacks on Indian army with Indian army’s oppression of Kashmiris?

Does she not know that Shia Muslims are the largest target killed faith group in Pakistan, who are being killed only because of their faith (Shia sect) and no other reason? Shias of all backgrounds, lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers, professors, religious scholars, students, ordinary Shias in offices, markets, vans, Muharram processions are being killed on a regular basis!

Does she not know that ASWJ-SSP and other Jihadi-sectarian militants are supported by Pakistan army and its various agencies, the same agencies which also played a key role in the construction of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council? Does she not know that in the last six months alone, more than 240 Shia Muslims have been killed in Pakistan? Does she not know that Pakistan’s Sunni Muslims have rejected ASWJ-SSP terrorists?

We condemn Dawn, The Friday Times and other similar liberal elites publications and warn them to refrain from misrepresenting Shia genocide in Pakistan. Dawn must retract this article and publish an apology not only to Shia Muslims but to all truth seeking, peace loving Pakistanis.

A copy of Naziha’s article published in Dawn is appended below:

Changing trends in sectarian killings
Naziha Syed Ali
| Metropolitan Karachi

KARACHI, March 15: Ateeq Hanif’s three sons are between seven years and six months old. An activist of the Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), one of several militant outfits banned in 2002, Ateeq along with Shabbir Wakeel, another SSP worker, was murdered in mid-February while returning home after visiting friends in Gol Market, Nazimabad. Four men on two motorbikes rode up and fired at them several times, killing Shabbir on the spot while Ateeq, who was shot in the face, died later in hospital.

In his sparsely furnished home in Gulbahar locality, his brother-in-law Mohammad Zahir spoke about the threats that preceded Ateeq’s murder. “He would get phone calls threatening him with death if he didn’t stop working for the SSP,” he said. “But he’d been affiliated with the organisation for 20 years and there was no way he was going to give that up. He kept varying his routine, and although he was told by his doctor to go for a walk every day, he couldn’t do that.”

Mr Zahir has no doubt who is responsible for his brother-in-law’s murder. “He was afraid of rival militants, and they’re the ones who took his life.”

In another part of Karachi, in a Shia graveyard called Ali Bagh, Mohammad Hasan points at two adjacent graves — those of his brothers, Mohammad Hussain, 39, and Ali Akbar, 30. On the night of July 23, 2011 the two men were shot dead by gunmen close to the entrance to the graveyard. “I had gone fishing to Balochistan with my friends,” says Mr Hasan. “Otherwise I would definitely have been with them.”

His father was caretaker of Ali Bagh at the time, and the family lived in a house on the premises. When his parents heard the shots ring out they rushed outside to discover one son dead and two others grievously wounded. One of them died later in hospital while the eldest recovered. He has since left the country.

“Our family had been living there for over 50 years and had never received any direct threats, although every Friday from a nearby mosque, we’d hear sermons saying how even shaking hands with us is haram,” says Mr Hasan. “All we know is that my brothers had no enmity with anyone, and the only possible reason for their murder is that we’re Shias.”

In Karachi, where ethnic and political rivalries — often indistinguishable from each other — claim lives on a regular basis, sometimes in horrific orgies of bloodletting such as that in August 2011, people like Ateeq Hanif, Shabbir Wakeel, Mohammad Hussain and Ali Akbar are casualties of sectarian killings, another deadly game of tit-for-tat that shows no signs of abating. These are not large-scale massacres such as the recent one in Kohistan that claimed the lives of 18 Shias, but low-key, targeted operations carried out in the middle of bustling localities and busy streets.

According to the police, the main players in this sectarian vendetta are the Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) — later called Ahle-Sunnat-Wal-Jamaat (ASWJ) after the SSP was banned a decade ago — and Sipah-i-Muhammad Pakistan (SMP), a proscribed group of activists belonging to various larger Shia organisations. As of March 10 this year, the ASWJ has also been banned.

Until 2008, the victims were largely Shia. However, the past two years have seen a sharp rise in the number of SSP activists also getting killed in Karachi.

According to official police records, 19 Sunnis — virtually all SSP activists — and 13 Shias were killed in Karachi last year on sectarian grounds. However, the total number of murdered SSP activists cited by the organisation itself is twice as high. The same is the case with the Jaffria Alliance which maintains a record of Shias killed on sectarian grounds. Police officials concede that their own list may well be incomplete.

Representatives of the SSP and Jaffria Alliance deny the allegation that any of its cadres are involved in sectarian killings.

‘All they need are two pistols and a motorbike’

Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations), CID, Fayyaz Khan says: “In most cases, the perpetrators operate in small splinter groups of four or five. They don’t need an organisation per se; all they need are two pistols and a motorbike. They fund their operations through bank robberies and kidnapping.” At the same time, maintains another police official, they remain in constant touch with their parent organisations.

Several senior members of the SSP are veterans of the Afghan war and received training in camps affiliated with or run by Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The organisation allegedly continues to maintain close links with Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ), its proscribed militant offshoot which is held responsible for some of the most heinous sectarian attacks in Pakistan including the massacre of 26 Shia pilgrims in Mastung in 2011. In the words of a police official, “Given that SSP gives financial support to families of LJ militants who are in jail, or have been killed while carrying out acts of terrorism, what else can you infer from that?”

On the other side of the sectarian divide, a dozen or more SMP activists were arrested in the mid-2000s, according to police sources, prompting several others to go underground within the country while some slipped abroad. According to the police sources, these militant cadres have regrouped somewhere in Parachinar. Some have allegedly also been to training camps — known as maaskars — in a neighbouring country. A group of four arrested recently is under trial for eight or so cases of murder of SSP activists.

The profile of Shia victims of sectarian killings in Karachi has also changed in recent times, say police sources, with most now being rank-and-file members of society rather than prominent or comparatively high-profile professionals. “The group led by Asif Ramzi, an LJ militant, used to target professionals almost exclusively,” says a police official. “After his death in an explosion in 2002, ordinary Shias began to be targeted more. Shia militants on the other hand tend to target SSP activists whom they view as a direct threat.” SSP Khan adds that the arrest of notorious LJ leader Akram Lahori, also in 2002, had the same effect.

The police official sees little prospect of a decline in sectarian target killings. “We catch four sectarian terrorists and they tell us about another eight, and so on. It’s like a hydra-headed monster.”

Meanwhile, the slain SSP activist Ateeq Hanif’s brother-in-law, Mohammad Zahir, talks about how his family has changed since the murder. “Even though we’re Deobandi and staunch supporters of the SSP, my kids have been studying in a school run by a Shia welfare organisation. Ateeq objected to my sending them there, but I didn’t listen to him. Now, my wife and I believe that he was right, and we’re going to take them out.”

Mr Hasan, whose two brothers were killed in the Ali Bagh graveyard last summer, narrates how his aged father still cannot come to terms with the loss of his sons. “Every morning, as per routine, he calls out for them to come down and join him for breakfast.” The killers have never been caught and a sense of fear pervades their lives. “We don’t know whether the person greeting us is our well-wisher or is planning to kill us,” he says. “We can’t trust any one any longer.”

8 Comments to “Naziha Syed Ali justifies Shia genocide in Pakistan as tit-for-tat violence!”

  1. Naziha works for lesbian rights. Good. But why misrepresent and justify Shia genocide?

    Women in Love
    As photographer Naureen Shah’s portraits depict, South Asianlesbians in the west, by virtue of their colour and alternativelifestyle, are a minority twice over.
    By Naziha Syed Ali

    Makeover or Move Over
    When Toronto-based photographer Naureen Shah (right) began to contact SouthAsian lesbians in the US and Canada for a photo project, little did she know that shewould be seen as an intruder in a close-knit community fiercely protective of its own.“This is our little world. Don’t enter it because we can’t enter the larger world,” shewas told bluntly.The closing of ranks was ironic, given that Naureen’s intention from the verybeginning, far from being exploitative, had been to illustrate through her photographs,that non-white, sexually diverse individuals in a predominantly white society are aminority within a minority. “South Asian lesbians are usually disowned by theirfamilies,” says Naureen. “Most South Asians, even those living abroad, cannotcomprehend the concept of lesbianism; they can’t understand how two women can havesex with each other. Then, South Asian lesbians in the west can’t even associate withthe mainstream lesbians because they’re categorised as women of colour and culturallyas well, they’re very different.” This dissociation from family and from society hasresulted in an isolation that is reinforced by the community’s almost paranoid fear of exploitation.The inspiration for Naureen’s project, which was to culminate in a photoexhibition, was a series of chance encounters with South Asian lesbians in Canada, (1 of 6)6/26/2006 4:15:09 PM

  2. Company she keeps:

    A journalist for almost 20 years, Naziha Syed Ali worked in the print media for much of this time, including a long stint as assistant editor at Newsline. After completing her masters in TV Journalism from the University of London, she switched to broadcast and set up a film unit at Newsline. She went on to produce documentaries on a number of subjects, including corruption in Pakistan’s public education system and the dancing girls of Lahore. Naziha is currently executive producer of her own company called Periscope which specialises in documentaries, both corporate and social. Being a bit of a news junkie, she also works for Channel Four News as their stringer in Pakistan.
    Meenu Gaur is an independent filmmaker based in New Delhi and London. She obtained a masters degree in film and video from the Mass Communication Research Centre (MCRC), JMI University, New Delhi. She is currently a Felix Scholar and doctoral candidate at the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. Her research focuses on Hindi cinema and has been presented at various international conferences. She also teaches video and runs media training workshops at SOAS. In addition, Meenu is presently co-editing a book titled Indian Mass Media and the Politics of Change. She is the co-founder of the London-based independent media collective Sacredmediacow. Her film, “Paradise on a River of Hell”, a mapping of personal and collective memories of Kashmir, received a ‘Special Recognition’ at the 3rd KaraFilm Festival.
    Shandana Minhas’ production credits include the short film “Doctor” which she co-directed with Maheen Zia and the documentaries “Lyari Expressway: Development or Destruction” and “Gwadar: Between Golden Acres and the Deep Blue Sea.” Her first novel Tunnel Vision was published in 2007 by Roli Books and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her column Don’t Shoot the Messenger appears in The News on Sunday. Her novella Rafina is being adapted into a feature film by director Sabiha Sumar. Shandana’s first collection of poetry will be published in 2009 and she is currently working on her second novel.

    Born in 1975 in Bremen, Andre Höermann has been working with the DCTP Research and Development Company on television programming, film projects and media research since 1995. He studied social sciences and economics at Humboldt University in Berlin and subsequently went on to study film and television at the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen “Konrad Wolf” Potsdam-Babelsberg. In 2003 he was nominated for the First Steps Award for a commercial he made while still training as a filmmaker. He undertook a six month study tour of Hanoi in 2004 as well as a three month study tour of Kolkata in 2006. He has directed several short films and documentaries, including “Das Manifest” (2003) and “Calcutta Calling” (2006), which have been screened around the world. He most recently completed the short film “Atemlos” (2006).

    Faiza S Khan is a columnist, critic and currently an editor at the Herald. She has worked as a freelance journalist since 1999 and has written extensively on film, literature and society. She has been published in a variety of Pakistani publications, most regularly The Friday Times, where she was also features editor for a number of years. She has served as a public relations coordinator at Merchant Ivory Productions, as a director’s assistant to Mehreen Jabbar on the television drama “Aur Zindagi Badalti Hai” and as an editor for Vanguard Books in Lahore.
    With a BFA in Photography from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and an MA in Media, Culture & Technology from the University of Luton/Bedfordshire (UK), Amean J. is a Canadian Pakistani currently based in Karachi. Amean’s work and name have been featured in publications such as The New Yorker, Colors, Herald and Newsline and books such as 1000 signs by Taschen. Amean has also been a part time faculty member at the University of Karachi, and conducts filmmaking and photography workshops at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture and Iqra University. In addition, Amean is a founding member of The Citizens Archive of Pakistan and runs his own photography studio, 18% grey.

    Javed Shaikh is one of Pakistan’s most well known film personalities who has also made a mark across the border in India. He began his career on Pakistan Radio but became a household name with acting turns in landmark television dramas such as “Shama”, “Dhund” and “Ankahi” before moving into films. He has acted in over 30 films to date including, most recently, in Indian films such as “Om Shanti Om” (2007), “Jannat” (2008) and “Money Hai Tau Honey Hai” (2008). He made his directorial debut in 1995 with “Mushkil” and followed up with the hits “Chief Saab” (1996) and “Yes Boss” (1998). His 2002 film “Yeh Dil Aapka Hua” was a superhit in Pakistan and was also released in the UK. His most recent directorial venture – his seventh – was “Khulay Aasman Kay Neechay” (2008).
    Khusro Mumtaz is a banker but has written extensively on film, theatre and music for a variety of newspapers and magazines. Currently he writes film reviews for Dawn’s weekly Review magazine and Visage and also writes an op-ed column for daily The News. He also co-hosted a popular movie review show on television, “Silver Screen”, for three years on AAJ TV. Khusro Mumtaz is the first recipient of the KaraFilm Society Recognition for Film Criticism.
    An actor, director and broadcast personality, Ayeshah Alam began her career in the media as a model. Having done her share of fashion and music videos, she soon moved on to more challenging assignments, directing and producing films for television and acting on stage. Her performances in avant garde fare such as “The Vagina Monologues” for stage and Moth Smoke adaptation “Daira” for television, won her many rave reviews, also garnering her the Ciepie for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role at the 3rd KaraFilm Festival. She also hosts shows on radio and television.
    Hameed Haroon is the Chief Executive Officer and publisher of the Dawn Group of Publications and the former president of the All Pakistan Newspaper Society as well as a man of art, culture, theatre, music and film. He owns one of the most extensive collections of art in Pakistan, and co-curated the widely acclaimed retrospective exhibition in Karachi of the Pakistani master Sadequain. He has been associated with the theatre in London, and has directed stage plays in Karachi. His passion for the documentation and promotion of sufi shrine music at the Bhit Shah shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai earned him, in 1994, the Latif Award, the highest cultural award in the Sindh province. He is also currently involved in documenting and issuing the collected works of the famed Pakistani singer Noor Jehan. On the board of a number of art and culture institutions, Hameed has also served as the Chairman for the National Task Force on Culture in the Federal Ministry for Culture (1999) and was recently awarded the Order of Merit by Italy. He has grown up watching and following Pakistani cinema and has a deep and abiding interest in international cinema.
    Mohammad Hanif is a journalist and a writer. He has written plays for the stage and BBC radio, and his film “Raat Chali Hai Jhoom Ke” was shown at the inaugural KaraFilm Festival. His first novel A Case of Exploding Mangoes was long listed for Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for Guardian First Book Prize and won Shakti Bhatt First Book Award. He is currently BBC’s correspondent based in Karachi.
    Talat Aslam is the Editor of The News, Karachi. He moved to his current position in 2004 after spending two years at Dawn, Pakistan’s leading English language newspaper, as its Features Editor. Until March 2001, he worked for Geo TV where he was part of the team that initiated the process of setting up a South Asian satellite television channel. From 1985 to 1997, Talat worked for the Herald, the country’s leading monthly magazine. He was the editor of the Herald between 1992 and 1997. During his stint at the Herald, he wrote numerous articles on the cinema and remained one of its most widely read film critics. Talat has also written scripts for television and a documentary. His love for cinema, both local and foreign, has remained the one constant in his career.

  3. After gone through the article I feel shame on Dawn to publish this article. Dawn has lost it market and user against The News, it is only because of the management.
    Regarding Nazish, she grow in the west and lost her values and character. She is blind and get paid to present the true pucture as false. We can expect such opinion from western paid and character less people. Shame on you Dawn and Shame on you Nazish(SSP)

  4. Bullshit! Shi’ites are not targeted because of their faith, they are targeted because of their overt provocation and hostility against the Sunni majority. Sectarian violence in Pakistan started with the Iranian shi’ite revolution of 1979. Shi’ites have a longstanding policy of assassinating Sunni leaders who refute their superstitious and anti-democratic beliefs. Most of those targeted by Shi’ites have no connection with armed activity against shi’ite militancy but are peaceful activists. Shi’ite terrorist organizations openly parade around and receive support from Iran as well as shi’ite elements of Pakistani elite. Both the initiation and continuation of sectarian activity in Pakistan solely the fault of the obnoxious Shi’ite minority. Nazish, a disinterested observer, is instantly able to see that. Mr. Riaz Malik being an anti-Sunni activist isn’t.

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