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Another View: Imran Khan’s insidious obfuscation of Shia Genocide


Imran Khan with "My Amir-ul-Momineen is Mullah Omar" Sheikh Rashid

Ajeeb teri siyasat, ajeeb tera nizaam

Yazid sey bhi marasim, Husain (a.s) ko bhi salaam

 (Translation: Your politics and conduct are bizzare; you mantain ties with both Yazid and Hussain)

How does one treat Imran Khan’s recent and belated condemnation of shia genocide in Pakistan while he continues to socialize with shia killing Taliban affiliates like Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat?  Such hypocrisy is exposed in Imran Khan’s insensitive meeting with SSP-ASWJ.

Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat is the parent organization of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi that proudly boasts about massacring Shias along with the Taliban. All of them are affiliated and ideologically linked and trace their roots back to the military dictatorship of General Zia.  ASWJ change in nomenclature from Sipah-e-Sahaba is a tactic to present themselves as the dominant Sunni viewpoint which they are not.  ASWJ’s links to LeJ remain and are a matter of public record as is their continued incitement to violence against Shia muslims.  It is disgraceful for Imran Khan to pretend as if this is an international conspiracy.

How does one accept that Imran Khan is being sincere about condemning Shia genocide?

Imran continues to willfully obfuscate the central role of the Taliban and their Jihadi-sectarian allies who are conducting Shia Genocide with press released admissions.  He continues to align himself with those who acknowledge Mullah Omar as their Amir ul Momineen and a PCO judiciary that is daily facilitating the release of Shia killers like Malik Ishaq and those who are inciting for the genocide of Shias like Mullah Aziz of Lal Masjid.

Previously, Imran Khan used to deny that such atrocities were going on.

Inspite of his condemnation, there  are serious problems in the manner that Imran Khan completely obscures the role of local actors and Jihadis and reduces shia genocide to an “international conspiracy”

Accepting this dishonest hypothesis by Imran Khan in the face of overwhelming contradictory facts is sheer mental laziness and needs to be set straight.  One should be clear that this post is not meant to excuse the current PPP government for their utter failure in providing security to not just Shias but all Pakistanis from Takfiri terrorists. It is not meant to deflect responsibility from the failure and apathy of President Zardari, Interior Minister Rehman Malik or Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf towards the ongoing Shia Genocide.   Such apathy will cost the Pakistan People’s Party at the next elections from arguably their largest vote bank across the country.

Refer to I.A. Rehman for more detail and see how Imran Khan has distorted the entire discourse on the continuing shia genocide taking place in Gilgit-Baltistan.

These happenings will certainly have a highly adverse impact on the sectarian conflict raging in Gilgit-Baltistan at the other end of the country. The issue there in the beginning was the large Shia population’s aspiration to enjoy their due share in the democratised management of public affairs and the other community’s resolve to resist this legitimate demand to the extent of foregoing its own democratic rights.

Left to themselves the two communities might not have failed to work out a framework for peaceful coexistence and mutual accommodation. The chances of that happening began to be undermined by Gen Zia’s narrow-minded sectarian predilection. By blinking at an external lashkar’s bloody assault on the Gilgit Shias he helped the rise of an interventionist force that has apparently decided not to let the people of Gilgit-Baltistan settle their matters amongst themselves.

These outsiders have never relented in their efforts to keep the sectarian strife going. One is amazed to see that all those who always blame foreign hands for any outbreak of lawlessness have not cared to expose the mischief being done by non-local elements in Gilgit-Baltistan.


Imran Khan has dishonestly presented the army-backed Jihadis as an outsider force and thus reinforced the omission riven theory that Shia Genocide is an international conspiracy.  Unsaid in this is that the State must continue to turn a blind eye towards their support for the Taliban and its Jihadi affiliates who are the actual and proud instruments of Shia Genocide in Pakistan.   The ongoing genocide of Shias is the cost of this policy of Strategic Depth.

But the population began to be seen by General Zia’s regime as posing a potential threat after 1980. Sectarian violence began there in 1988 as a result of Islamabad’s Iran policy. In 1988, a Shia-Sunni dispute in Gilgit over Eid led to a Sunni lashkar that comprised thousands of people from Mansehra, Chilas (GB), Kohistan and other areas in the then NWFP. In the rampage that followed, hundreds, mostly Shias, were killed, scores of villages were pillaged and burned, and even livestock was slaughtered.

In 1999, it was on General Musharraf’s watch as army chief that Pakistan’s Kashmir jihad policy increased the ranks of Islamic extremists in the Northern Areas. The Kargil conflict resulted in the influx of Sunni jihadi elements into the region. Extremist organisations like Sipah Sahaba, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Al-Ikhwan and Harkatul Mujahideen opened their offices there, upsetting the demographic balance.”


And Imran Khan wants us to believe that the Shias of GB are looking towards the army to save them!

To be fair, one cannot blame Imran Khan alone as there are some Shia clerics who are also willing collaborators for the task of obfuscating Shia Genocide.  The discourse presented by this section is that Shia Genocide in Pakistan is a conspiracy by India, Israel and America to punish the Shias of Pakistan for their loyalty to Iran. Again, the main goal of this hypothesis is problematic at several levels:

  1. While the United States may be an indirect patron of Jihadi elements, its role in supporting TTP-LeJ-LeT does not exceed that of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan Army. Excluding these two from any discourse is a grave omission.  Similarly, there are no links between Israel and the militants in Pakistan. As for India, it has suffered at the hands of these very own militants and it makes no sense for them to support them – the blowback to their society is tremendous and unlike Pakistan, the civilians still call the shots in India.
  2. Similarly, barring two major incidents in the last decade, muslims in general are more secure in India. If 2000 muslims have been killed as a result of mob violence in Indian in the last 21 years (fallout of Babri Masjid), the numbers in Pakistan is atleast 20 times higher.  In Pakistan, the perpetrators of those who have killed tens of thousands of muslims are muslims themselves!
  3. Granted that the United States has played a horrible role in other parts of the muslim world where Shias are being killed.  However, their role is still secondary to those regimes like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, Kuwait and the closet Islamist Edrogan government of Turkey.   Why are these regimes not subject to the same outrage by Imran Khan and his supporters.
  4.  This obfuscation also allow polemicists and Takfiris of varying shades to paint targets on Pakistan’s diverse shia communities and bring them in the cross hairs of the Taliban-ASWJ-LeJ.  Inciting hatred on the basis of collectively holding ALL shias responsible for the opinions of a few is a typical Takfiri tactic and Pro-Iran shia clerics assist such takfir by their More-loyal-than-the-king stance on all things Iranian.

As I write these lines, the TTP has massacred 30 more Shias and wounded scores more in Parachinar. Once again, they have boasted their responsibility.  While the military establishment shifts the Haqqani network to the Kurram agency from North Waziristan, their proxies like Imran Khan will continue to confuse Pakistan’s brainwashed elites and do his best to divert outrage from his Taliban allies.

Dr. Taqi (also refer to http://www.viewpointonline.net/systematic-shia-extermination-in-pakistan-is-a-genocide.html) has accurately pegged Imran Khan as a Taliban apologist in his article for the Daily Times in 2010

While the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman, Muslim Khan, had the dubious courage to clearly own up to the savagery of his outfit, Mr Imran Khan, who is the head and de facto chief spokesman of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, stoops to the lowest levels of skulduggery in defending Taliban atrocities. Sheer disinformation, misinformation, contempt for truth, and an utter disregard for the realities of people’s lives, particularly of the Pashtuns, are what Mr Khan’s spoken and written words are all about.

He seems to have perfected the art of repeating half-truths and quite often just plain lies over and over again. In his article ‘Don’t blame Pakistan for the failure of the war’ (The Times, UK, July 27, 2010), he has some real gems to share. He writes: “Before the West invaded Afghanistan, my country had no suicide bombers, no jihad and no Talibanisation.”

Perhaps Mr Khan had been too busy playing cricket to take note of al Qaeda’s activities in the early 1990s at Abdullah Azzam’s Maktab-al-Khidmat — a base camp in Peshawar for Arab jihadists. Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden met each other in Peshawar courtesy Professor Azzam. Suicide bombings were not a norm then, but Azzam himself was killed in a car bombing in November 1989, allegedly orchestrated by his more extremist friends. He disagreed with their concept of takfir, i.e. declaring people who did not meet their definition of Muslim as infidels, who they believed deserved to be murdered. Benazir Bhutto, Dr Najibullah, several Arab rulers and Muslim minorities were placed in this category.”


It would be the height of foolishness to laud such a cosmetic, belated and misleading statement by the world’s most prominent Taliban apologist.

About the author

Jehangir Hafsi


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  • Inspite of his condemnation, there are serious problems in the manner that Imran Khan completely obscures the role of local actors and Jihadis and reduces shia genocide to an “international conspiracy”

    Wondefully written

    Nishapur sb! Did you write this article?

    Pl always possibly share the e mail of writer, so that some appreciation could be sent to him

  • Imran Khan used the term ”Shia Genocide” on an interview in NDTV with Barkha Dutt, and he said Shias are being massacred.