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BNCHR report misrepresents Shia genocide in Balochistan

The Baloch National Council for Human Rights (BNCHR) has released a report titled “Sorry Saga of Baloch Miseries” highlighting Baloch Genocide. Previous reports by HRW, HRCP etc have documented that hundreds of Balochs have been killed by Pakistan Army and hundreds more abducted by its various agencies in the last few years.

Shia Muslims are Pakistan’s most target killed and suffered community, with more than 19,000 dead and an equal number permanently maimed or injured. At least 1000 Shias including Hazaras, Balochs, Pashtuns, Punjabis etc have been killed in Balochistan in the last few years.

Consistent with our principled stance on human rights, we completely sympathize with our Baloch brothers and sisters, and their sufferings at the hands of Pakistani Army and State.

However, it was distasteful to see the misrepresentation of Shia genocide in the said report. The following are some observations:

1. The BNCHR Report remains selective on issues of human rights. With documented cases of approximately 1000 Shias, both Shia Hazaras and non-Hazara Shias, killed in the last few years, Shia Muslims remain the largest target killed community in Balochistan. However, unfortunately the sufferings of Shias of Balochistan have been grossly ignored in the Baloch human rights report. Are Baloch, Hazara, Pashtun Shias not a part of Balochistan? Do their issues of human rights not deserve mention and sympathy?

2. The country-wide and province-wide Shia genocide has been misrepresented as a Hazara ethnicity specific issue. At least 200 non-Hazara Shias killed in Balochistan have been wiped out form the report.

3. False neutrality has been shown between the ISI-sponsored Takfiri terrorists (LeJ-ASWJ-SSP) and the Shia community. A phantom organization, Sipah-e-Muhammad, which was annihiliated by the ISI in late 1990s has been shown as equally active and equally vile as SSP-LeJ, and is said to be operating under the leadership of PPP’s senator Faisal Raza Abidi, under ISI’s patronage. First, no such organization exists today. Second, Senator Abidi has nothing to do with violence against any community. Third, reprisal attacks by a few Shia youths against combatant criminals of LeJ-ASWJ cannot be equated with LeJ-ASWJ’s systematic attacks on ALL Shias. Fourth, ISI is a sponsor of Shia massacres, not the other way round.

4. While the Baloch human rights report duly mentions Punjabi roots and leadership of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (aka ASWJ) and its patronage by the ISI, it completely wipes out (barring a mention of Mullah Farooq) the fact that a large section of LeJ-ASWJ in Balochistan comprises Baloch recruits, particularly those of Brahvi-Baloch backgrounds. It also completely sets aside evidence of increasing links and functional cooperation between Baloch nationalists and LeJ-ASWJ militants. Latest in this regard is the death of Sanaullah Siddiqi Baloch in Khuzdar who was a joint office bearer and activist of the Baloch Republican Party of Bramdagh Bugti and ASWJ of Maulana Ludhianvi.

5. The report wrongly describes LeJ-ASWJ as a Sunni organization instead of discarding and describing it as a Takfiri Deobandi group.

6. Of course, the report makes no mention of at least 800 Punjabi settlers including Shia settlers killed by Baloch nationalists.

Here are some excerpts from the report.

Sipah-e-Muhammad
A Shia militant group, active in southern Punjab and Karachi mostly. Formed by Maulana Mureed Abbas Yazdani in 1990, to counter the attacks of Sipah-e-Sahaba than, now known as Laskhar-e-Jhangavi. Though the group is believed to be funded by Iranian extremist regime but ISI uses them time and again the sympathies of Saudia specially. It is widely believed that the ruling PPP Senator, Mr. Faisal Raza Abidi is running the racket from Karachi. In Balochistan ISI uses the group to eliminate Sunni Muslim scholars of Baloch Nation. By this ISI is trying to achieve two main objectives , one is to get rid of Baloch Scholars and the other is to blend Baloch National struggle of freedom as a sectarian issue. He is known for his stance against Supreme Court.

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State sponsored private militias:
Once ISI took the matters in hand, they established various State sponsored private militias to eliminate Baloch. Criminal elements of the society are gathered, trained and financed to carry out the fascist agenda of the corrupt state. To compensate these militias financially, they are given free hand for the illicit trade of drugs and arms. These militias also kidnap the citizens for huge amounts of ransom. They can operate with impunity till they are working for the oppressor, and ready to eliminate the given targets. Peace force, Tehrek-e-Nifaz-e-aman, Musalah Difai Tanzeem, and Mutahida Mahaz are the state sponsored terrorist outfits. While on sectarian grounds, Laskar-e-Jhangavi and Sipah-e-Muhammad are funded to carry out the massacre.

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Lashkar-e-Jhangavi
Laskar-e-Jhangavi with extremist ideologies is a sister concern of Taliban. Though their official secerteriate is in the Jhang city of Punjab, but in Balochistan they are operating from Quetta. Head of the gang is
Molana Ishaq, a close ally of Mian Nawaz Shareef the ex-Prime minister of Pakistan. He has been arrested from Lahore after his reported differences with Mian Brothers of Punjab. Their provincial chief is known as Mullah Farooq, who lives with the Chief Minister of Balochistan. They claim the killings of Hazara community in
Balochistan specifically. Hazara community is Shia Muslim by religious beliefs while Lashkare-Jhangavi is known as Sunni extremist outfit. Killings of Hazara community escalated in recent years and termed as genocide literally. After failing to pursue the Hazara community against Baloch Nation, ISI started to target them. ISI also accuse the Hazaras of being trained from Iran against Sunni extremist army of Pakistan. They consider them a potential threat for the State. Lashkar-e-Jhangavi targets the liberal section of Baloch nation on allegation of infidelity. They are even dangerous because of their suicidal squad. This organization is sponsored by the Punjabi extremists, and mainstream political parties of Punjab. Extremist faction of Pakistani military also helps them generously, while they are considered as strategic assets of ISI. In result of expected evacuation of NATO and America from Afghanistan, Lashkar-e-Jhangavi will play a great role in favor of Pakistan.

Link to BNCHR Report: http://bnchr.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/sorry-saga-of-baloch-miseries.pdf

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Abdul Nishapuri

7 Comments

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  • Our Baloch brothers are going through alot. Those who denies this are both lying and dishonest. But if Baloch brothers have portrayed Shias as being active to ‘eliminate’ their Baloch ulema and ordinary, they have brought shame to themself. What the Baloch are arguing here is that Shias are responsible for their own genocide in Balochistan like all other parts of Pakistan because they are indulging in sectarian war.

    We hope Baloch who are suffering like all Shias apologize for this misrepresentation and remove it from the report. If they dont do it, it will bring alot of questions in mind about their stand on Shia killing in Balochistan,and how LEJ operate in their area.

  • There are some points, which should be cleared. LUBP is a source of disinformation so one must not take its words as it is published.

    1. We condemn the Shia genocide at the hands of LeJ terrorists but the 19000 figure is massively exaggerated. So is the 1000 shias killed in Balochistan figure. One correction, Baloch are the largest target killed community in Balochistan. LUBP should not twist facts. around 12 to 14000 Baloch have been abducted by state forces since 2000. Since June 2010 over 600 persons have been killed and dumped. A lot of Baloch people have been killed in military operations and during tortures whose bodies have not been dumped in open. So LUBP should not understate the oppression of Baloch, which is state’s agenda and LUBp is helping the deep state. A sensible person can’t justify the killings of settlers and thats also condemnable. Other than few exception most of settlers have been killed by State’s agents to malign Baloch cause and they have been successful in doing so.

    2. Its Shia Genocide not Hazara, I agree with it. It should not be given ethnic touch. Similarly LeJ operatives are terrorists and they should not be called as Baloch nationalists. This matter should also not be given ethnic touch….

    3. Sipah-e-Mohammad was a very well organized Shia terrorists organization funded by Iran. It killed many people including SSP chief Azam tariq MNA. It might not exist today. Its Chief Dr. Khalid has fled to Iran according to newspaper reports. Now there is another Shia militant group Lashkar-e-Mehdi, which has issued press statements lately in Balochistan newspapers. The modus operandi of Shia miltants is different from LeJ, they target the religious leaders of sunnis rather than common people. Few months ago a group of Shias belonging from D.I Khan were arrestd in Quetta who were involved in killing of Many Sunni Prayer leaders. I personally disagree that Mr. Abidi is running Sipah-e-Mohammad from Karachi, This is not true but there are others who have adopted violence to deal with LeJ.

  • It seems that Finally LUBP has reacted to my honest and truthful voice by blocking my comments in the guise of moderation. This is really condemnable. Perhaps LUBP and its planted commentators don’t have any answer to my hard hitting questions and arguments…..

  • An Islamabad-based news agency has released a fake news which Daily Jang has carried in its June 22, 2012 edition. This Quetta datelined news of the News Network International (NNI) says that Lashkar-e-Mehdi has threatened suicidal attacks if any new prime minister comes into power.

    The fake organization says that they have contacts with Taliban. They asked Chief Justice to handcuff President Asif Zardari. They have also threatened print and electronic media of dire consequences.

    Shia organisations, religious scholars and ordinary Shias have expressed surprise on existence of any such outfit in Shia Community. Shiite News spoke to many eminent figures and also conducted a survey but no such group with such plans was found.

    However, eminent Shia scholars were disappointed as they said that it is a conspiracy to defame Shia Muslims in Pakistan. They said that genocide of Shias is being perpetrated. They said that releasing such news is part of a deep rooted conspiracy against Shias so that they may be equated with terrorist Taliban.

    They said that Taliban are ferocious terrorists and they are responsible for Bamiyan massacre in Afghanistan. They said that Pakistani Taliban and their off-shoots are responsible for genocide of Shia Muslims in Pakistan. They said that those who tried to equate Shia victims with the terrorists have played a dirty game that is bound to fail.

    Shia notables recalled that agencies had also tried to equate Shia victims in Parachinar with such terrorists but that plot too failed. They advised the agencies not to play this dirty game and they must not implicate law-abiding Shias.

    They have asked the intelligence agencies to prepare reports about those sectarian terrorists who call Shia Muslims and other fellow Muslims as infidels and work day and night to harm them. They said Shias must be allowed to enjoy their legitimate inalienable rights.

    They categorically denied any Lashkar-e-Mehdi in Shia community. They said that Lashkar-e-Mehdi is nothing but a “table story” and daily Jang should not have published that news. They said that the table story has shaken the credibility of the NNI and Jang newspaper.

    They have demanded of both of them to publish a contradiction of the news of Lashkar-e-Mehdi because that had hurt the feelings of millions of Shia Muslims.

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  • All right such an elaborate denial of existence of LeM. One can agree that there might not be a group with that name but no doubt on existence of Shia terror groups. SeM existed(unsure about its current status)at a time to counter LeJ. the modus operandi of Shia terror groups is different from LeJ> Shia groups only target Prayer leaders and activists of Aswj etc not the common public. By this way they don’t give public a chance to hate them as LeJ does by killing common Shias. A really ingenious method indeed…

    In the wake of recent tension in Quetta Many Shias have been settled in Quetta belonging from Parachinar and D.I Khan to assist in fighting LeJ. Couple of months ago a group of D.I Khan Shais was arrested by police which were involved in killing of Sunni Prayer leaders….